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Big Ten moving to conference-only model for all fall sports

The announcement became official on Thursday afternoon.
Sep 7, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; A general view of the Big Ten logo prior to the game between the Buffalo Bulls  and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; A general view of the Big Ten logo prior to the game between the Buffalo Bulls and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports(Matthew OHaren | Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 4:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Big Ten decided on Thursday that a conference-only season for all fall sports is the most likely outcome in the coming months.

That includes football.

If college football is played this fall, Big Ten presidents and athletic directors prefer to only play their conference schedules. That would help eliminate some long-distance travel.

The conference released the following statement on Thursday:

(T)he 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. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. 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.

36 teams are scheduled to play non-conference games against the Big Ten this season, including 28 from the FBS. Ball State, Bowling Green, BYU, Central Michigan, UConn and Northern Illinois are scheduled to play two Big Ten opponents in football this season.

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