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Big Ten to not move forward with padded football practices until further notice

The decision was made based on advice from advisory committees on COVID-19.
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 Big Ten Conference announced Saturday that its football teams will continue to have helmets as the only piece of protective gear during practice until further notice.

The conference said the teams will remain in the first part of its "acclimatization period" and not move to padded practices based on advice from the he Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

The Ohio State University opened its 2020 football field camp on Thursday.

The coaching staff and about 120 players are scheduled to hold practices at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Ohio State is scheduled to open its season on September 3 at Illinois, which was announced earlier this week as well as the conference's full schedule.

"We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all," the Big Ten said in a statements about the status of football practices.

"As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes."

All other fall sports will continue to work with team doctors and trainers to adjust how their practices are held based on medical guidance.

The Big Ten Conference's full statement can be read below:

The Big Ten Conference announced today, based on the advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, that, until further notice, all institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice. All other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.

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. 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.

We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all. As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.