The Big Ten Conference announced that if it is able to sponsor fall sports next semester during the coronavirus pandemic, it will do so by limiting the schedules to conference opponents only.
Football is the biggest sport affected by the decision. Other fall sports the Big Ten sponsors include men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.
The University of Maryland is one of the conference’s 14 member institutions. Terrapins football, for example, will no longer play its three planned non-conference games: home against Towson, home against Northern Illinois and a visit to West Virginia.
Those games were already wiped from the athletic department’s schedule online.
“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,” a press release from the Big Ten said.
The news follows other major developments shaping the 2020-2021 NCAA season. The Ivy League canceled its fall sports seasons Wednesday, and the ACC announced it would delay fall competitions for sports like soccer until at least Sept. 1; its schools don’t begin playing football until Sept. 2.
The Athletic, which was the first outlet to report the Big Ten news, also reported that the Pac-12 will announce the same measure in the coming days.
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