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Big Ten announces conference-only schedule for fall sports


Pictured is the view of Memorial Stadium outside the Tobias Nutrition Center located on the second floor on the south end of the stadium. Fall sports will have conference-only schedules if their seasons are able to be played to allow flexibility as the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop. IDS file photo and Matt Begala

The Big Ten announced Thursday that all fall sports will transition to a conference-only schedule if the 2020-21 season is able to be played. 

By limiting competition to only Big Ten schools, the conference will have the flexibility to make decisions based on evolving medical advice amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Throughout this process the health and safety of our students, coaches, staff and fans has been our number one priority, and I want to thank Commissioner Warren for his leadership as we navigate these unprecedented and challenging times,” IU athletic director Scott Dolson said in a release.

The sports mentioned include men’s and women’s cross-country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Scheduling details for those sports will be released at a later date, while those not listed will continue to be evaluated. 

“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times,” the Big Ten’s statement read. “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.”

Before the announcement, IU football was scheduled to play three nonconference opponents this upcoming season: Western Kentucky University, Ball State University and the University of Connecticut. The team will now move to a nine-game schedule.

The conference also announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary, including football. 

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