Big Ten explains reasoning behind fall sports postponement

Nittany Nation

FILE – In this Oct. 19, 2019, file photo, Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) scores after catching a pass from quarterback Sean Clifford during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa. Hamler was chosen by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

(WTAJ) — The Big Ten released a letter explaining the reasoning behind choosing to postpone fall sports in the conference.

Despite petitions from athletes in the conference, the postponement will not be revisited.

The letter stated that primary factors that led to the decision include transmission rates continuing to rise at an alarming rate with little indication that the campuses or communities could gain control of the spread prior to the start of competition.

“As the general student body comes back to campus, spread to student-athletes could reintroduce infection into our athletics community,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said.

“There is simply too much we do not know about the virus, recovery from infection and longer-term effects,” Warren continued. “While the data on cardiomyopathy is preliminary and incomplete, the uncertain risk was unacceptable at this time.”

Other concerns include contact tracing and the inability to social distance in contact sports, noting that contact tracing and quarantining would risk frequent and significant disruptions to the game calendar.

Warren said that financial considerations did not influence the decision, as the postponement will have “enormous financial implications.”

The Big Ten has assembled a “Return to Competition Task Force” that will evaluate winter and spring models. They will continue to collect feedback from student-athletes, families, and other constituents.

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