Big Ten presidents are expected to meet on Saturday afternoon to discuss the future of the conference’s fall sports seasons, two people with first-hand knowledge of the situation told Free Press.
And it is very likely that a spring soccer season may have arrived.
The sources were briefed about the call but were not allowed to speak publicly about it. The Big Ten confirmed the presidents had a regular meeting scheduled for Saturday, but according to sources, the topic of conversation had turned to college football season.
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Going into the call, sources said Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren enjoys a spring football season, though no decision has yet been made.
The meeting of presidents comes hours after the Central American Conference – which includes East Michigan, Central Michigan and Western Michigan – becomes the first FBS conference to cancel the fall college football season following the COVID pandemic -19.
Instead, MAC will pursue a season of spring football, commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said Saturday in a conference call.
Michigan and Michigan State open their fall camps on Friday. On Saturday, following the MAC announcement, the Big Ten said all schools must wear helmets and shorts for practice. It is not clear when full buffer training will begin.
Steinbrecher said MAC’s decision to cancel the season was not made for financial reasons, although the conference is expected to lose millions of dollars in game guaranteed revenue from canceled games, when the Power conference Five moved on to mostly conference schedules. (ACC and Big 12 are allowing teams to play a non-conference game; Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 are for conference only.)
“This is a decision about health and well-being, first of all an important one,” says Steinbrecher. “We don’t know what this will mean financially.”
The State of Kent has faced a $ 5 million loss in game guarantees, the most in the country among the Group Five schools. According to data compiled by USA Today Sports, Buffalo ($ 2.7 million), Bowling Green ($ 2.2 million) and Central Michigan ($ 2.15 million) will also suffer significant losses.
Central Michigan’s losses come from matches against Nebraska ($ 1.3 million) and Northwestern ($ 850,000). East Michigan will miss $ 1.45 million from canceled matches against Missouri ($ 1.1 million) and Kentucky ($ 350,000).
Free Press sports writer Evan Petzold contributed to this report.
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