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Big Ten Conference postpones fall sports

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MADISON, Wis. – The Big Ten has officially postponed its fall sports season, including all regular season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fall sports include men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”

In a joint statement, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said, “This is a difficult moment for all of us – student-athletes, coaches, staff, students, fans and local communities – whose lives are intertwined with Badger Athletics in a variety of ways.

We are all going to miss the excitement of Saturdays at Camp Randall, cheering the volleyball team in the Field House as it was headed toward another run for a National Championship, the excellence of our cross country runners and the memorable experiences that come with men’s and women’s soccer.

We are particularly heartbroken for the student-athletes and coaches who put so much time and effort into preparing for competition.”

The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options for competition, including the spring for fall sports. The conference also said decisions regarding winter and spring sports will continue to be evaluated.

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