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Big Ten announces conference-only sports in fall 2020

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ISU will have to wait.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has scrapped all non-conference portions of all fall sports scheduled for all Big Ten teams.

News of this decision comes after the Ivy League already canceled collegiate athletics for the remainder of the calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision, which was first reported by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, was made official in a statement Thursday afternoon.

We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority.To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports.

The statement said any Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate this academic year due to coronavirus concerns will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution.

Officials said the decision was made after conversations with the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, as well as other school, athletic and health officials.

We’ll see this take its biggest impact (right now) when it comes to Illinois Football. The Illini had a highly anticipated game against Illinois State, as well as Bowling Green and Connecticut, on the 2020 slate.

Right now, the Illini’s season would be nine games, all in conference. We’ll see if it stays that way.