Big Ten, Pac-12 Officially Cancel Football Season

August 12, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
The hits keep on coming to the college sports season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences — two pillars of the “Power 5” conferences — announced that the historic leagues will be forgoing their football seasons.

Rumors had been swirling around the decision as other NCAA Division I programs like UConn, UMass Amherst, and other schools from the Mid-Atlantic Conference and the Mountain West Conference also canceling the football season.

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Photo: OSUBeaver2000 / Creative Commons

Now the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Oregon, and other top-flight football programs won’t be lining up for a shot at a National Championship on Saturday afternoons.

”This was an extremely difficult and painful decision that we know will have important impacts on our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and our fans,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a press conference. ”We know nothing will ease that.”

”Every life is critical,” first-year Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren told the AP. ”We wanted to make sure we continually, not only in our words but in our actions, do put the health and safety and wellness of our student-athletes first.”

Both conferences pointed to the risk of protecting players and staff from contracting the coronavirus and spreading it.

The decision from the Big Ten comes almost a week after the conference released a revised, conference-only schedule.

The three conferences left in the Power 5 — the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and the Big-12 — have yet to make a decision regarding its football season and corresponding fall sports. The SEC and ACC, however, have both released statements sharing their desire to play in some form, while the Big-12 has yet to release any stance on the issue.

‘Everyone is going to make their independent decisions and I certainly respect our colleagues,” Scott said in the press conference. ”We try to be very collaborative, communicative with our peers across the country. But at the end of the day, our presidents and chancellors looked at what was in best interest of Pac-12 student-athletes based on the advice and frankly what’s going on in our communities.’

» RELATED: College Sports Fall Season in Jeopardy

Joining football in the postponement by the Big Ten and Pac-12 are the rest of their fall athletic programs. The Big Ten said all fall sports would be postponed with the hopes of making them up in the second semester while the Pac-12 soon after stated all sports will be on hold until January 1, including basketball.