Big Ten To Pursue Spring Football Season

The rumors about the Big Ten nixing fall football preceded the conference following through with a landmark change. One week after it finalized a fall 2020 schedule, the conference voted to not play that slate, David Jesse, Chris Solari and Chris Thomas of the Detroit Free Press report. The Big Ten announced the decision Tuesday.

While the Big Ten has become the first of the Power 5 conferences to call off football in 2020, it plans to pursue a spring football season,’s James Kratch reports. This would be an axis-shifting move, though other smaller conferences have put such plans in place already.

The NFL has yet to budge on its annual draft window. Earlier this summer, the league was not expected to move the draft from its traditional late-April date. But with the Big Ten producing dozens of draftees annually, the NFL will now have a dilemma.

One of the major conferences’ seasons may not be completed by the time the draft happens — a scenario that has not occurred since the 1960s. The CBA allows the NFL the power to push the draft back as far as June 2. Any additional delay would require another NFL-NFLPA bargaining session.

A few first-round prospects from Big Ten schools have opted out of the season to prepare for the draft. Tuesday’s announcement will induce many others to do so, with a spring season presenting immense risk to players on track to play NFL football in fall 2021. Prospects who were hoping to use the 2020 season as a springboard to better draft status may also be forced to skip a spring slate.

Other college conferences may follow the Big Ten’s lead. The Pac-12 was the second league to announce it would only play conference games. With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on the NCAA landscape, it would certainly not be a surprise to see the Pac-12 — which also discussed a spring setup earlier this summer — follow the Big Ten in postponing its season. This would put the ACC, Big 12 and SEC to seminal decisions.

As far as the coronavirus-reshaped 2020 NFL season, that remains on course. While the Big Ten pulling the plug on fall football could be interpreted as an ominous sign for the league, the NFL has fewer obstacles to navigate than college conferences en route to Week 1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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24 comments on “Big Ten To Pursue Spring Football Season

  1. JJB0811

    ‘A few first-round prospects from Big Ten schools have opted out of the season to prepare for the draft.’

    That’s going to be the result of all this. 1st and 2nd picks won’t play college ball. First it was Bosa left OSU, then highly talented players leaving bowl games, now this. Why play for someone else’s paycheck?

    Some business guy will setup a pay for play league like the NBA has now (B league?) . To heck with making SEC, PAC 10, Big 12, et al. gobs of money and nothing for yourself.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It doesn’t have to be nothing for yourself if you take advantage of that free scholarship you received. Even if your projected as a 1st or 2nd rd pick the smart play is to get a college degree as insurance.

      • JJB0811

        From ESPN this Feb: Seven Power 5 head coaches have been fired (Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State, Matt Luke at Ole Miss, Steve Addazio at Boston College, Barry Odom at Missouri, Chad Morris at Arkansas, Willie Taggart at FSU and Chris Ash at Rutgers).

        All of those coaches made more this year, let alone their guaranteed contracts, than 99% of their players will make in pro sports. And most likely in life. Not insulting the players, but a $15m plus buyout goes further than selling insurance or sales.

        • crosseyedlemon

          I don’t begrudge coaches large salaries because they are under the microscope 24/7 and always facing pressure from fans and the media. They have to sacrifice their family lives and usually end up with an ulcer or some other health issue.

      • dandan

        I tend to agree. I believe they will and should postpone until the spring, but don’t put it past the SEC/BIG12/ACC to try and get greedy and make some money in the fall.

  2. Technically correct

    Guess they end at 0-1 in 2020. I kinda feel bad for IUFB Fan. So much bravado only to sink the Biz.

  3. Cosmodogs

    The spring football thing is a joke. Too many hurdles and obstacles to even try it, and that is on the MAJOR assumption that the Covid virus has burned out by January. They are just saying this to placate the crowd for 3-4 more months. College BB, which was scheduled to start a 4-5 weeks after the new SEC opener, is next. First that will be delayed to Jan 1, then, minus a miracle, cancelled. At least the BB spring schedule idea would be realistic, if the virus were to burn out.

      • JJB0811

        Nov 5th. its all gone! If Trump wins, it’ll be onto a new thing to get him. If Biden wins, the D’s will shut up about it.

        • MichaelJFoxownssteaknshake

          ^^ this is why they should close comments on this topic.

        • kylegocougs

          What a moronic take— I’m sure the whole world isn’t put to get you and the man with 5 kids by 3 women, but victim hood feels nice huh?

          • JJB0811

            I’ll take any bet on the time frame. It was bad in the spring throughout the world. Now Europe, & Asia aren’t in the news about it, just us. Its 100% political, on both sides, now. COVID will be gone before Thanksgiving. Easy prediction.

                • MichaelJFoxownssteaknshake

                  Are you still doing this? You are like watching a few reddit videos of the same person that doesn’t understand that requiring a mask in a private business has nothing to do with the constitution. I just don’t get why you can’t be sensible no matter what. Nothing to do with politics but you and your ilk are the new drain on the American psyche.

                  • JJB0811

                    What are you talking about? My entire point is Covid is a dead issue everywhere else but here (USA to be clear). And (USA) pro sports recognizes that. Which is why they are playing again. Columbus & Tampa are tied 2-2 in 3rd OT. Or are you not paying attention to sports literally right now?

                    • MichaelJFoxownssteaknshake

                      It is not a dead issue in South America , Central America , Mexico or certain parts of Europe. We are not allowed in these countries for a reason. Quit being obtuse.

        • earmbrister

          Yeah, hundreds of thousands of people died of C 19 in the US as part of the deep state plot to undermine Trump. Just ask Q. Your aluminum foil hat is on just a bit too tight JJ.

  4. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Most of these schools won’t even be having students on campus for classes, why would they have sports?

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