The Big East doesn’t do football anymore, but its 11 members all have sports set to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Big East has had to make a tough decision on fall sports. On Wednesday, the conference announced that it is postponing fall sports with plans to re-evaluate its options in the spring.
“The decision to not hold fall sports competition was not made lightly,” Big East Board of Directors chair Peter M. Donohue said in a statement. “Athletics play an integral role in the student, alumni and fan experience at each of our institutions, and we were all hoping to allow the fall seasons to move forward. However, given the guidance of the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, this decision, while disappointing, was made with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff in mind. The well-being of our community members are, and will continue to be, our priority and focus.”
Affected sports include soccer, cross country, volleyball and field hockey. However, Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said that basketball is not being affected at this time.
“We take pride in the high-level competition and experiences we provide to our fall sports student-athletes, and we share their deep disappointment that this will not be a normal year,” Ackerman said. “Our plans for men’s and women’s basketball and other sports are unaffected at this time.”
That will certainly come as a relief to a number of college basketball programs. But the state of college basketball remains very much up in the air.
It may only be a matter of time before the Big East has to reach a decision on basketball too. That will definitely be one to look out for.