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Big Ten and Pac-12 cancel fall football seasons

The two Power Five conferences took the lead in moving back football season.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The first two big moves among Power Five conferences to cancel fall football season happened on Tuesday after days of reports and speculation about the possibility, as the Big Ten released a statement canceling all fall sports and reports emerged shortly thereafter about the Pac-12 canceling fall football season.

The Big Ten Conference announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.

The statement released by the Big Ten said that the conference would continue evaluating options, including playing in the spring and whether winter and spring sports will be possible.

In a positive development for athletes, Ohio State released a statement indicating that athletes will remain on campus and continue receiving support from the university, including regular testing and access to mental health services.

There’s also a possibility that several Big Ten schools could look for ways to play football this fall — Nebraska and Iowa are reportedly the schools that voted against canceling fall football season and the Cornhuskers have been particularly outspoken against the conference’s decision.

In the Big 12, the conference is reportedly divided on playing this fall, but Texas still wants to compete this fall.