Reports: Big Ten will not play sports in the fall

A report from the Detroit Free Press says the Big Ten has opted to not play sports in the fall. Tony Paul of the Detroit News says he has confirmed the same and that the Big Ten will look to play football in the spring. Here is the report from Free Press reporter Orion Sang:

See you later, college football.

The Big Ten has voted to cancel the 2020 college football season in a historic move that stems from concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple people with knowledge of the decision confirmed to the Free Press.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the decision. A formal announcement is expected to Tuesday, the sources said. 

The presidents voted, 12-2, Sunday to end the fall sports in the conference. Michigan and Michigan State — which both has physicians as presidents — voted to end the season, sources said. Only Nebraska and Iowa voted to play, Dan Patrick said on his radio show Monday. 

The move comes two days after the Mid-American Conference became the first in the FBS to cancel ts season, and sources told the Free Press the Big Ten is trying to coordinate its announcement with other Power Five conferences. 

Sources told the Free Press on Saturday that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren prefers a spring football season, although no decision has been made. 

On Monday, Michigan State football moved its scheduled off day from Tuesday to Monday because of the uncertainty of the 2020 season, three people with direct knowledge of the situation told the Free Press. Iowa canceled Monday’s 11 a.m. practice, according to the Des Moines Register. And Purdue reportedly rescheduled its media availability. 

As of Monday morning, MSU and Michigan players had not yet been told of any decision to cancel the 2020 season, sources at each school said. Two sources said MSU coaches were hopeful more information would be provided Monday.

The cancellation of season comes a week after the Big Ten revealed an updated 10-game conference-only schedule for 2020, and just days after teams in the conference opened fall camp.

It also comes as players across the nation are opting out because of concerns about how the virus could impact their short- and long-term health. Four Michigan State players said they wouldn’t play in 2020, and one team source said more players were expected to follow. 

MSU linebacker Marcel Lewis, who opted out Saturday, said he lost a family member to the virus and doesn’t want to risk play. Offensive tackle Justin Stevens, who also opted out Saturday, said he has a respiratory condition that could make him high risk. A number of other players around the Big Ten — including Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and 

Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney, whose is suffering from COVID-19-related heart issues and whose mother wrote an impassioned message imploring the college football world to take it seriously, took to Twitter on Monday morning with his own urging schools and players “to listen to our medical experts.”

“Covid-19 is serious,” Brady Feeney wrote. “I never thought that I would have serious health complications from this virus, but look at what happened.”


  1. Confirmed. Enjoy Brown County and the colorful leaves in Southern Indiana.
    Across the board or broad perspective MY WISH FOR THE FUTURE IS PERSPECTIVE. In other words look and study the 1940’s and 1950’s 1960’s for example….regarding student college athlete, all expenses and salaries, money money money financial related items, perspective and priorities. Actually, I feel this way about politics, any kind of high profile entertainment, CEO’s, basically All those at the top of the pyramid. How much is any man worth anyway???

  2. If it’s true, IU Football just went undefeated ….”BREAKTHROUGH!”

    Rock carving experts have determined there is insufficient stone at Mount Rushmore to accommodate Trump’s towering majestic hair. Most feasible plans for the new site include Devils ‘Tower.’

  3. Another example of the narrow view many college presidents have when making decisions. If their reason is having students on campus isn’t safe then the players and staff would be much safer on campus and in the football program with twice a week testing and medical staff on hand. Going home puts them back in an environment likely to be at greater risk. The environment that doesn’t provide many of them with help they could need dealing with losing a sport they love and is a huge part of their life.

    I worry we will see players struggling with this and making decisions that aren’t the best as people get desperate when something they love gets taken away. Most of the players won’t play in the NFL but football still is one of the major focuses in the lives. No fall season, let the players [that choose to] stay on campus and train while completing classes with the support they have had in the past. This would keep athletes the safest they can be in this virus environment.

  4. People have lost jobs that will never return…Thousands upon thousands are facing evictions. Businesses spanning generations are folding up. Checking accounts are drying up. Credit cards are maxed out. Food is not getting on the table for children.

    Since when does a college athlete get the best medical treatment, best testing, best accommodations, best monitoring, best coddling, best meals three times a day, best advocates to defend their imperative football to be saved of disruptions ……? I mean, it’s sickening enough watching the tone deafness in pro sports enjoying 5-star meals at the finest resort restaurants in the Magic Kingdom (and the occasional trip to a strip club) while so many kids suffer in hunger and isolation.
    Give back to those truly suffering. Donate more than 1/400 of your guaranteed salary. Go home. Get an “essentials” job at Amazon while someone at higher risk takes paid leave. Help the parents cope. Fill in for an old bus driver who is at high risk. Run some meals to some ER workers.
    You can put the strip clubs, NIL and the ‘big man on campus’ on hold for a few months.

  5. …or big name athlete do a beat with a police officer attempting to keep peace on the very stressed and troubled streets of inner cities all across this country. Do a food drive. Give some time to an city school. Be a substitute teacher…Aren’t you wonderfully fit and nearly “immune to the virus?” If you are “strong enough” and “fearless enough” to play a sport in a bubble, then surely you are strong and fearless enough to make your presence known on troubled streets and in communities that need you more than ever to truly step up.

    Witness what Roberto Clemente did to help hungry kids from his home streets…..Where have all the truly heroic figures gone?

  6. Based on what hs happened so far I have a serious question without taking a position on which is better. As H4H has pointed out, many are suffering due to the steps taken to try and minimize this virus. The consequences of what we have done in this country will be seen for years.

    Now consider if we did nothing other than mask wearing and remind people to wash their hands often giving people the ability to decide for themselves what activities to take part in. Go to church, if enough churches have an issue with outbreaks people will come up with other ways to worship, the same thing with bars. No shut down of businesses or restrictions would lead to a million deaths or more so what damages society more?

    There are measures in between these two positions that could be taken but looking at these two is a start of an honest discussion.

    We can’t go back in time to change things but this won’t be the only pandemic we will deal with in the next couple of decades. Looking at these issues in a rational matter would help with dealing with a pandemic in the future.

  7. V13, I believe you were correct when you wrote, “this won’t be the only pandemic we will deal with in the next couple of decades.” This will happen again, and I don’t think it’s going to take two or three decades before the next pandemic arrives in the U.S.

    I still believe the responses we’re getting from Conference and University officials is driven by the fear of litigation and/or the fear of being criticized. These people are hyper-risk averse and appear not to understand that adults should be thoroughly informed and then free to make their own decisions. I mean, what do you expect from people who insist on defending and supporting colleagues who claim that “men can become pregnant” and that self identification overrules biology? Too many academicians in this country have been in their own little bubble for far too long and many of them have walked through the looking glass.

    Good for those FB coaches who spoke out recently and reminded people that their players would be far safer in the structured environment of their FB programs than they would be hanging around their respective homes and neighborhoods.

    1. The character of those coaches will be mightily tested now. There’s already some talk internally about what this means from a player perspective. The ripple effect here could be quite large.

  8. Po, you hit the nail on the head about much of what academia has been doing and the bubble they are in. I fear for future students as our educational system hasn’t been working well for many of them unless we think pampered children are the way to go.

    1. V and PO, I am afraid that you both are terribly misinformed. It is not the threat of lawsuits, but the certainty of losing them and paying large damages for negligence, self serving greed, recklessness, etc., PO. It is not “academia”, whatever that might be, but responsible Presidents and Trustees who are calling the cautious decisions, V. That is why they, not you, are making the decisions. Frost, the disappointing coach of NE should be suspended without pay by the B1G for one year! That is the only “ other option that he has!

      1. BeatPurdue, I am not misinformed but the presidents were afraid of the virus while teams were doing well except for Rutgers and with testing twice a week kept almost all players safe. You are wrong about being misinformed but like to take shots at me and others.

      2. BeatPurdue is on point. We fumbled around for 2 months during the onset of this virus. It was supposed to be a flea we could shake off by Easter Sunday. The churches were going to be full. Don’t you all remember the sell job?
        All the athletes and coaches should be putting their outrage where it belongs. They’ve all been sold a bag of goods. Their hopes were not inflated by the reality in the numbers or by the medical experts. Their hopes were falsely elevated and their hearts were infected with the deceit of “fake” leadership from Washington; the constant deceptions and ignoring of science from a man who cares more about holding power than decency, honesty and securing the well-being of our citizenry.
        Put you outrage where it belongs, morons. We were supposed to be playing football by Easter Sunday in full contact worshiping. Meanwhile, tear gas peaceful protests at our nation’s capital for the photo op of holding a bible upside down? Huh, shouldn’t you have been holding that upside down bible on Easter with no tear gas needed? And you bubble brains wonder how everything in your precious sports world has been turned upside down?

  9. Testing results were probably “fake news.” Here a lot about “fake news” from the Bunion in Chief.
    All the millions upon millions of dollars tied to college football (especially in many of those pro Bunion states) and you don’t think testing results and methods could contain a fair share of “fake news?” No potential corruption there?
    Who is doing the testing? What testing sites are samples being sent? Is there strict oversight and measures to secure transport? Are we sure dollars aren’t being passed in the same fashion to buy recruits, hookers, shoe companies, professors to run ghost classes? Now everything in college athletics is legit because “testing” sounds so official.
    I have about as much confidence in those testing numbers being real as the grades on UNC athletes’ official transcripts. Where is your “fake news” now?

  10. BP, you’re last comment was overly cynical, and neither V or I are misinformed. Nor do we fail to understand who is ultimately making the decisions.

    Avoiding litigation is as simple as having each player sign a waiver that documents that they have been thoroughly informed about the risks and that they have made the choice to play, Such waivers would prohibit them from filing a lawsuit if they get the coronavirus as a result of competing in their varsity sport. And you made reference to greed. In IU’s case (and many other Big Ten schools), it can’t be about greed because IU athletics does not make a “profit” (generate a surplus). All the revenue IU FB generates goes to fund all the other varsity sports. So, without FB revenue, does IU and many other Big Ten schools start eliminating non-revenue producing varsity sports like Akron did? Was Akron’s decision to eliminate numerous varsity sports (which probably won’t ever come back) motivated by greed? Or was it simply an attempt to save what they could?

    I find it hilarious when people accuse college FB and BB coaches of being greedy while ignoring the thousands of bloated University administrators and Trustees who have been ripping off students and the taxpayers for years. Look at the amount of student-loan debt in America and tell me that the only university employees who are greedy are in the Athletic Department. The fraud perpetrated on America by the higher education industry makes anything that the “greediest” FB or BB coaches have done look like child’s pay.

  11. One last comment before I lose interest in this topic. If the SEC, ACC and Big 12 conferences play FB this fall, it’s going to do enormous damage to the Big Ten and PAC-12 conferences. Not just the FB programs in those conferences, but the conferences in general. The financial damage the Big Ten and PAC-12 conference schools suffer will be huge while the ACC, SEC and Big-12 conferences become even richer! And if the FB players, coaches and staff in the conferences that choose to play don’t suffer any significant ill-effects because they played FB, it will take years for Big Ten and PAC-12 administrators to live down the ridicule that will be heaped on them while they try to recover financially while wiping the egg off their faces.

    It might even get so bad that in a few years from now, college FB will be defined as The Power Three Conferences.

  12. Sure, the SEC is a dominant football culture. And there are select dominant teams nearly always in the final rounds of basketball’s March Madness.

    College football loses a significant amount of flare when you remove the full participation of potential contenders throughout the country who will bid (even if as long shots against a more dominant conference) for a national title.

    You have removed the flare of the Rose Bowl and many other conference rivalry settings. The SEC likely loves beating up on the BigTen and other so-called “elite” teams. Bragging rights mean a lot to teams and the personality of teams to match bravado in fan bases.

    You are living in a dream world if you think the same flare exists in the sport when you have removed two major conferences from the national stages and many rivalry match-ups. The quality of the entertainment has fallen off immensely. The viewership will fall off as well. Let them wave their big stick…It will come back like a boomerang real soon (too bad it can’t smack the Nebraska coach with some reality as well).

    Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State…Oregon, USC, Washington? These are not chopped liver football programs.

    One of the remaining three (Big 12, SEC, ACC) will come to their senses….and then the reality will finally hit.

    1. The viewership will be off the charts. The fans of 28 programs aren’t able to watch their teams play this Fall. Trust me, they’re going to find the time to watch others. And while certain intersectional rivalries may not be played this year, that won’t take the bloom off the rose for those teams that made lemonade out of lemons. The only sour faces will be with those sitting at home while others move forward.

      1. The only thing “off the charts” will be the spread of Covid once they start traveling.

        Until that happens, they do have the early advantage of having zero competition while the unemployed or the ‘working from home” can play it as background noise. But there can be no claims at valid titles. I’ll watch golf before that subbing in TV evangelist fraud at Clemson or a sea of hillbillies ranting “Go Tide!” Sure, they’ll command the attention of certain low bar buying into all of that “fake news” …of Football, God and Guns….AMEN!

  13. In other words, you’re now backpedaling like a defensive back over the claim that “viewership will fall off, as well”. With that, I’m sure you’ll now respond with three multi-paragraph diatribes on the evils of high cholesterol southern cooking at tailgates in the Grove or how the inequality of the U.S. judicial system was foretold by Verne Lundquist, Larry Munson, and Frank Broyles during their weekly political round table just before the all-night broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry on WSM (or some other nonsensical babble).

  14. Yes, in an attempt to give find some tiny semblance/acknowledgement of agreement to your argument. It’s what normal people do rather than just offer up things like “ignorance,” “uniformed” and the many other snidely adjectives you use on me and others here in your condescending snidely routine.
    Early numbers may be decent …if it happens. I honestly don’t think a season will happen. Taking the full array of rosters from ‘hot spots’ to improving areas…or vice versa? Practicing in bubbles is far different than what can happen once things get into full swing. Coeds, parties, big man on campus….and relying on other team’s bubble participants to not break protocols? Good luck with that.

    And here is some more irony. Didn’t Mr. Expert on All Things II (a.k.a. Podunker) recently declare IU’s conference only schedule as brutal and a travesty of devastating results ready to happen (had we gone forward)?

    And now he’s bitching about all the lost bonanza in viewership? Did he want the truth of IU football facing the brutality of that schedule unveiled to his exploding viewership numbers and all the sports-starved hungry eyes who will soon slap the old stereotypes right back onto the image of IU football? Sure didn’t sound like he had any confidence in us handling such a schedule with any success. Murderer’s Row viewership plus more Big10 opponents (including opening up with Wisconsin) not near the pushovers faced in our momentous turnaround/breakthrough of last season?
    Playing that schedule in possibly empty stadiums (or partially empty) in front of millions of hungry college football television viewers would forever solidify the Indiana Football image its been unable to shed for the last 50 years.
    The health of our football players and those they are in contact should be the only concern. Personally, I think ‘IU football fans’ (diametrically opposed as such a marriage of words can be) dodged the final nails of a stereotype coffin.

    IU Football: “Because it’s not Indiana.”

    Who would wish our best viewership numbers ever for Indiana’s most difficult schedule ever? Do you like slasher movies involving people that look like you?

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