The 2020 college football season took a major hit on Saturday morning, as the Mid-American Conference announced that it will not be playing this fall. It appears that decision may impact how major conferences like the Big Ten will handle this season.
There have been rumblings about the Big Ten canceling its season due to concerns over COVID-19. Although that hasn’t happened, the conference did announce a major change to how teams will practice.
In an effort to keep its student-athletes safe, the Big Ten will not proceed with padded practices yet, saying “helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear.”
This isn’t a great sign for the regular season, especially since games are scheduled to take place next month. If players can’t wear pads for practices yet, how will they be able to wear them for a game?
Big Ten will not proceed to padded practices, instead remain w/helmets only. Big Ten: "We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 8, 2020
“Each new phase of activity provides new intelligence and experience and allows us to evaluate the implementation of our Conference and institutional medical protocols in real-time,” the Big Ten said in its statement. “In order to make the right health and safety decisions for our student-athletes, we believe it is best to continue in the appropriate phase of activity referenced above while we digest and share information from each campus to ensure we are moving forward cautiously.”
As of right now, the Big Ten’s plan is to play football this fall. However, there is serious momentum for canceling the season due to health concerns.
The Big Ten should provide another update on the 2020 season in the near future.