Big Ten Votes to Call Off Football Season: Reports

Dan Mennella
August 10, 2020 - 9:05 am

The presidents of the 14 schools represented by the NCAA's Big Ten conference reportedly voted in favor of suspending the 2020 season on Monday.

Presidents from 12 of the conference's 14 universities voted to call off the season, according to Dan Patrick, while two -- Nebraska and Iowa -- held out in hopes of playing.

The conference was expected to announce the decision on Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The reported meeting came two days after the MAC became the first Power 5 conference to call off its season over concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held an emergency summit to discuss the MAC's decision and the outlook for the upcoming season.

Earlier on Monday, Patrick, the former longtime ESPN anchor turned radio host, reported that the Big Ten and Pac 12 would call off their seasons as soon as Tuesday.

Reports over the weekend appeared bleak, with Darren Rovell reporting a Big Ten source told him there was no path forward for the conference that was "medically safe." An ESPN report sounded similarly pessimistic, citing a Power 5 athletic director who said "it doesn't look good" for college football in 2020.

Countless players, athletic directors and coaches rejected the intensifying rumors with a social media campaign featuring the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.

The Big Ten last week announced changes to its schedule in the event games were postponed due to virus concerns.

Michigan head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement that he disagreed with the decision, citing what he characterized as his program's strong record of controlling the virus.

"It is proven that the conduct, discipline and structure within our program have led to the these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has created however we will not cower from it."

Harbaugh closed the statement with the hashtags #WEWANTTOPLAY and #WEWANTTOCOACH.

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