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Big Ten cancels college football season for fall 2020, hopes to play in spring 2021

Following a morning meeting of the conference's presidents, the Big Ten on Tuesday has decided to cancel the college football season for the fall 2020 with hopes of playing in spring 2021, according FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 3:09 PM
Updated: Aug 11, 2020 5:14 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (WFFT) -- Following a morning meeting of the conference's presidents, the Big Ten on Tuesday has decided to cancel the college football season for the fall 2020 with hopes of playing in spring 2021, according FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman.

With the decision, the Big Ten becomes the first Power Five conference to decide to not play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were rumors the Big Ten would cancel their season as early as Sunday night, and the Pac-12 would follow sometimt this week.

However, a combination of coaches across the country and the #WeWantToPlay X #WeAreUnited movement developed late in the weekend, giving pause to the five major conferences.

Big Ten coaches -- including Ohio State's Ryan Day, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, Penn State's James Franklin and Nebraska's Scott Frost -- publicly advocated for playing the 2020 season as scheduled on Monday.

Ultimately, Myocarditis emerged as a significant health concern that largely led to the Big Ten's decision. The condition involves an inflammation of the heart muscle. It can reduce the heart's ability to pump, causing rapid or abnormal heartbeat.

According to a report from CBS Sports, at least 15 Big Ten players have been left with myocarditis after contracting COVID-19.

"Myocarditis is the ballgame right now," their source said. "Myocarditis is the major issue they're looking at. … Between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, that's what is really driving the push to push this off to spring."

In its latest medical guidelines, the NCAA said infected persons "of any age" with underlying heart conditions are a risk.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Associated Press on Sunday there was "growing evidence" of concern over myocarditis. Medical experts have told West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons that moving to the spring "will give us more time to be able to understand if the virus does necessarily impact the heart."

Recovery from myocarditis can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, according to Harvard Medical School.

For weeks, it was believed that, if any Power Five conference decided to cancel their season in the fall, it would be the Big Ten.

Will the other Power Five conferences follow suit with canceling their fall 2020 seasons? Pac-12 presidents are meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide just that. The SEC and ACC appear prepared to move forward, while the Big 12 is currently in limbo.

After the Big Ten's decision, 41 out of the 130 FBS programs will not play in the fall, pending the Pac-12 decision Tuesday.

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