Big Ten to play conference-only sports schedule

Sports

The seating area at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is empty as media and staff mill about, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Indianapolis, after the Big Ten Conference announced that remainder of the men’s NCAA college basketball games tournament was cancelled. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(WNCN) — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Big Ten conference announced that its member schools will only play one another if fall sports go on.

“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority,” a release from the Big Ten said.

Gone is the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge in men’s and women’s basketball and notable football matchups across the entire Division I landscape.

In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities.

Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team. 

“As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate,” the release said.

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