On Monday, the first FBS conference team announced plans to delay its football season because of coronavirus concerns. Today, the first of the Power 5 conferences followed suit.
The Big Ten Conference announced today that it won't be playing football – or any other sports – this fall because of concerns about COVID-19. The move comes six days after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State had released a revised conference-only schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.
Today's announcement followed Saturday's when the Mid-American Conference announced it was postponing football until January. The Ivy League earlier announced it was canceling, or at least delaying, its fall sports.
Steve McConkey of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics doubts a delay-football-until-January plan is workable.
"… If they put [the football season] in the spring, then they've got a very short break [until] they've got to pick it up in the fall," he outlines. "I don't see that happening. They may try to experiment with that, but they're going to have to get every football team throughout the United States on the same page."
McConkey believes it is possible to proceed safely with football if the right precautions are taken. Otherwise, he says the financial consequences would be devastating. For example, he predicts that cancellation of the Big Ten football season will cost conference member University of Wisconsin-Madison – which is located near him – "millions of dollars."
The Pac-12 Conference reportedly is seriously considering pulling the plug on fall football. At last report, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) are planning to move forward with their football seasons in just about a month.