By Zain Bando
With uncertain times ahead, sports leagues are adapting to the “new normal.” The same can be said for the Big Ten Conference, who announced that if fall sports can resume as scheduled, the season would look dramatically different.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the conference announced that each sport will only play conference games and for football specifically, a 10-game season would be implemented.
“To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports,” the statement read. “Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.“
The decision comes just days after Stanford cut 11 of its 36 varsity sports teams, along with Ohio State’s suspension of voluntary football workouts amid the global pandemic.
With the decision finalized, Illinois’ scheduled non-conference football games against Illinois State, UConn, and Bowling Green are canceled, as the start date to the 2020 season remains unknown.
Illini Sports Night and UI7 Live will have more as the story develops.