Big Ten Presidents “Ready to Pull the Plug” on Fall Sports, Per Report

By Dan Hope on August 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm
Kevin Warren
Thomas J. Russo – USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten appears to be one step closer to canceling fall sports.

According to a report by ESPN's Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach on Sunday, “several sources have indicated to ESPN that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, are ready to pull the plug on its fall sports season.”

“Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone football season, hopefully to the spring,” the report states, though no official vote was taken during Saturday's meeting of Big Ten presidents and chancellors.

Per ESPN, commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held a meeting on Sunday, in which the Big Ten “wanted to gauge if commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences – the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC – will fall in line with them.” ESPN described the meeting as an “emergency meeting,” though several subsequent reports downplayed the emergency nature of the meeting, saying the Power 5 commissioners already talk almost every day.

Big Ten presidents and chancellors met again on Sunday night. Ohio State president-elect Kristina Johnson, who was not on Saturday's call, was a participant in Sunday night's call, an Ohio State spokesperson confirmed. Per Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, no final decision was made during Sunday night's call, but no fall sports remains the expected outcome.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reported Sunday that efforts to save this fall's college football season have reached a “critical stage.”

While reports from Dan Patrick and the Detroit Free Press on Monday morning both stated that 12 of 14 Big Ten presidents and chancellors had already voted to shut down fall sports, a Big Ten spokesperson told reporters Monday afternoon that no vote had been held yet, and the Ohio State football team practiced and held its team picture day on Monday. According to Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal, however, a final decision could come on Monday night, when the presidents and chancellors are scheduled to meet again.

So far, the Mid-American Conference is the only FBS conference that has officially postponed fall sports to the spring, but the Big Ten announced Saturday that it would not proceed forward with padded football practices until further notice.

Many Ohio State football players, staffers and parents of football players have made pleas via social media for the Buckeyes to get the opportunity to play this fall.

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