Big Ten slams door on fall sports shut, won't revisit decision to postpone season

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren talks with the media about todays cancellation of the Mens Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will be cancelling the remainder of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
© Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

For anyone holding out hope that there will be college football played in the Big Ten conference this year, it's officially time to let go. 

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren posted an open letter to the Big Ten community on Wednesday announcing the finality of the conference's Aug. 11 decision to postpone all fall sports this year, including college football. 

The letter comes just two days following reports that Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour became the conference's second Big Ten administrator to raise the question whether there was a formal vote to cancel the season. Minnesota president Joan Gabel also said there wasn't a vote, but instead the decision was made together. 

Justin Fields also started a petition that garnered over 125,000 signatures to ask the conference to reinstate the football season on Sunday. 

"The vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited," Warren wrote. "The decision was thorough and deliberative, and based on sound feedback, guidance and advice from medical experts."

Warren cited alarming rates of the spread of coronavirus and the corresponding lack of universities' ability to control an outbreak as the foremost reason for upholding the conference's decision. A lack of knowledge around the long-term effects of the disease as well as a lack of contact tracing resources were also cited. 


Elsewhere, while students return to college campuses at schools in the ACC, North Carolina has struggled mightily to mitigate any spread of the virus. Earlier on Wednesday, UNC announced a 24 hour break from athletics for that reason.