By Zain Bando
According to an official press release Tuesday, the Big Ten announced that football and all other fall sports would be postponed. The league will attempt to salvage football in the spring, while efforts to restore women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and field hockey will be decided at a later date.
“The fall sports included in this announcement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring. Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated,” the release said.
The Big Ten Conference said they relied on medical advice and counsel from the Big Ten Emergency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee. Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President said “Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff.”
Illinois athletic director, Josh Whitman, posted a statement on the Illinois Athletic Facebook page announcing that the season was postponed, and said Illinois coaches and their teams were told about the decision.
“We have communicated to our student-athletes and coaches, who are understandably heartbroken. Our unity is our strength, and that will never be more tested than it is now,” Whitman said.
UI7 News and Illini Sports Night will have more as the story develops, as the Illini were set to open their fall football season Sept. 3 with a home date against Ohio State.