Big Ten extends athletic suspensions through June 1

Big+Ten+commissioner+Kevin+Warren+speaks+about+the+cancellation+of+the+mens+Big+10+basketball+tournament+at+Bankers+Life+Fieldhouse+in+Indianapolis+on+March+12%2C+2020.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren speaks about the cancellation of the men’s Big 10 basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 12, 2020.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

The Big Ten Conference has decided to extend its suspension on organized team activities and will not re-evaluate the prospect of ending the suspension until at least June 1. May 4 was the original day to determine whether organized activities could come back, but it was determined that now is not the time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Big Ten Conference will continue to use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine the next steps relative to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said. “The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.”

An extended suspension will not only affect practice and team meetings. Recruiting, whether it’s on- or off-campus, will be included in the list of actions prohibited during the suspension. The suspension will continue to cast doubt over whether fall sports will have time to prepare for competitions by the start of the next school year.

A delayed, shortened or canceled fall season will hit universities hard financially, as fall sports, especially football, bring in millions of dollars in revenue for the schools, which supports the entire university.

The Big Ten Conference has formed a task force of 14 members who are currently trying to figure out how to keep players, coaches and fans safe amid the pandemic.

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    “We are truly blessed to have a collection of world-class research institutions with the resources and talented medical experts on campus that allowed us to assemble this task force to address a global pandemic quickly,” said Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren in an article written by ESPN. “We are thankful to have the Task Force in place moving forward to allow the Big Ten Conference to position itself at the forefront of this issue and to share best practices for the management of and response to emerging infectious diseases now and in the future.”

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