Big Ten drops non-conference games for football


To continue reading, log into your account:

[theme-my-login show_title=0]
Penn State football coach James Franklin. - Matt Sunday/DKPS

Hours after the ACC announced it was pushing back the start of the fall sports season for its members to Sept. 1, the Big Ten took things a couple of steps further.

The conference said Thursday it will be going with a conference-only model for its fall sports, including football, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of the Big Ten's statement on the decision read: "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.

Whether fans can attend games or not, the Big Ten's decision is the most impactful so far in regards to the 2020 college football and fall sports seasons.

Penn State football had non-conference games scheduled against Kent State (Sept. 5), a marquee matchup at Virginia Tech (Sept. 12) and against San Jose State (Sept. 19). Its Big Ten opener is against Northwestern on Sept. 26 at Beaver Stadium.

Other notable non-conference games involving Big Ten schools that no longer will be played include Ohio State-Oregon, Michigan-Washington, Iowa-Iowa State and Wisconsin-Notre Dame.

Cross country, soccer, field hockey and volleyball also are affected by the decision.

"As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate," the statement read.

The conference also announced that summer activities will continue to be voluntary for all sports permitted to do so, and student-athletes who choose not to participate during the 2020-21 school year because of coronavirus concerns will have their scholarship honored and "remain in good standing with the team."

To continue reading, log into your account: