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Big Ten cancels fall sports season

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ROSEMONT (WREX) — The Big Ten announced it's canceling the fall sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes all regular season games, plus conference championships and tournaments.

“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.
 
“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”

A couple of Lena-Winslow grads are incoming freshmen on the Iowa football team. The Hawkeyes had a team meeting Tuesday to make the news official.

"What they decided is what they decided," Sean Ormiston, who's a preferred wak-on, said. "We can't really do anything about it. We just have to do what we can to continue to get better over this break and hopefully we're able to get back at it this spring."

Isaiah Bruce, who battled COVID-19 last month, says all the rumors leading up to the cancellation were on everybody's mind the past couple of days.

"That's like the only thing we've been talking about in the locker room," Bruce said. "Like the only thing. That's the main topic. It seems like we couldn't keep focused in meetings or lifting. That was pretty much the only thing we were thinking about. It's just a very difficult time."

Tune in to 13 News at 6 Wednesday night for more reaction from Bruce and Ormiston.

The fall sports included in this announcement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring. Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated. 

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email dbayne@wrex.com.

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