Jul 09, 2020 9:30 PM

Three Husker football games canceled as Big Ten limits fall sports to conference-only games

Posted Jul 09, 2020 9:30 PM

By: Dave Collins, Sports Director

The Big Ten Conference is limiting fall sports to only conference games. 

The announcement came on Thursday afternoon and means three of Nebraska's football games have been canceled, leaving nine games on the schedule to play.  Over the next several weeks I imagine we will hear more about how the conference plans to fill the newly-open weeks by shuffling game dates, or adding conference opponents to those open slots.

Nebraska has already removed games against Central Michigan, Cincinnati and South Dakota State from its official schedule on the team's website. The season opener is against Purdue on September 5, with the next game scheduled against Northwestern October 3.

Other exciting non-con match-ups that will no longer happen this fall as of today due to the announcement: Ohio State at Oregon, Michigan vs. Washington, Wisconsin vs Notre Dame, Michigan State vs. Miami, FL, and Penn State vs. Virginia Tech.

Here is the official statement from the Big Ten:

 We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority.

To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.

This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team. 

While Big Ten member institutions continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information to establish the best protocols for voluntary workouts on their campuses, in compliance with local and state regulations, the Conference is working with the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee to finalize Conference-wide protocols.

As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.