Big Ten Tables Voting to Reverse Its Course and Play Football This Fall

Presidents from the Big Ten Conference on Sunday had a chance to satisfy its 14 members and finally get its football season kicked off by October. Instead, the league will keep moving forward with its August decision when it became the first major conference to cancel all Fall sports in 2020, hoping to reschedule them for the spring semester.

There has been outside pressure on the conference to get the season ramped back up. First, there was pressure from players, coaches and athletic directors in the conference. Secondly, there are other major conferences that have begun play. Big Ten teams like Ohio State are currently out of the mix for a potential playoff appearance. (Note: Ohio State was No. 2 in most national preseason polls)

Then there was President Donald Trump, who said the Big Ten should play football.

Big ten Football 2020
Randy Wade, father of Shaun Wade of the Ohio State Buckeyes, looks on during a rally outside of the Big Ten Conference headquarters on August 21, 2020 in Rosemont, Illinois. The Big Ten conference made the decision to delay the fall football season until the spring to protect players and staff as transmission of the COVID-19 virus continues to rise. Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

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The league presidents didn't make a vote on Sunday, but Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel said a vote could happen this week, and that there's optimism the conference could still play in 2020.

"A comprehensive plan has been presented to the 14 Big Ten presidents/chancellors today, with an emphasis on medical protocols that have changed in recent weeks and are available to the league. No timetable set on vote, but expected soon. There's a lot of optimism," Thamel tweeted.

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Since the Big Ten voted on Aug. 11 to move the season to the Fall, the Pac-12 Conference opted out of the 2020 Fall season, meaning two of the Power Five conferences would not play, putting the entire college football season in jeopardy. However, the other three Power Five leagues— the ACC, Big 12 and SEC—marched on and said they would play. The ACC and Big 12 kicked off this weekend, and the SEC is scheduled to start its season Sept. 26 with conference games only.

After the Big Ten presidents voted by an 11-3 margin to postpone the 2020 Fall sports schedule, commissioner Kevin Warren said that his league's presidents wanted to see better testing of the virus, and look at more trends of how many people were getting infected.

"It's a combination of where we are in our testing, where we are in our rapid testing, how is contact tracing actually defined? There's a whole litany of issues," Warren told ESPN when the league canceled. "We have incredible policies and procedures in place and our schools, we have 14 schools in 11 different states. People are doing the best they possibly can, but when you go from the acclimation period to getting ready to put on pads and contact, and you look at the overall numbers during this global pandemic as far as caseloads, they have not decreased, they have gone up.

"Trends have not improved, they've become worse. You add that up, and you're getting ready to go into more formal practice, it's just a level of not only concerns, but unknown risks are large. When you're dealing with the health of human beings, it's serious."

Big Ten Tables Voting to Reverse Its Course and Play Football This Fall | Sports