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Big Ten Commissioner says decision to postpone fall sports will not be revisited

Warren said the conference understands the disappointment surrounding the timing of the decision.
FILE - This March 7, 2014, file photo shows the entrance to The Big Ten Experience on the ground floor of the Big Ten conference headquarters in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The commissioner of the Big Ten Conference wrote an open letter to the community saying the vote by the university leaders to postpone fall sports will not be revisited.

"The decision was thorough and deliberative, and based on sound feedback, guidance and advice from medical experts," Kevin Warren said. "Despite the decision to postpone fall sports, we continue our work to find a path forward that creates a healthy and safe environment for all Big Ten student-athletes to compete in the sports they love in a manner that helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protects both student-athletes and the surrounding communities."

In the letter, Wilson addresses the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where more than 5.5 million confirmed cases and more than 170,000 deaths have been recorded in the United States.

Warren said the conference understands the disappointment surrounding the timing of the decision after releasing the conference only schedule for football.

"From the beginning, we consistently communicated our commitment to cautiously proceed one day at a time with the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes at the center of our decision-making process."

Warren said there were many factors that contributed to the decision to postpone fall sports, but the core of the decision was based on too much medical uncertainty.

He then provided a list of primary factors that led to the decision adding that financial considerations did not influence the decision.

"We understand the passion of the many student-athletes and their families who were disappointed by the decision, but also know there are many who have a great deal of concern and anxiety regarding the pandemic," Warren said.

Warren concludes the letter saying the Big Ten has assembled a Return to Competition Task Force to plan for the return of fall sports as soon as possible.

"We will continue to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes," he said. "We appreciate the passion of the Big Ten community and will harness that energy towards providing the best possible experience for all Big Ten student-athletes."