BYU Responds To Big Ten Scheduling Change, Will ‘Continue Discussions With Other Universities’
PROVO, Utah – With the Big Ten Conference going to a conference-only football schedule in 2020, BYU suddenly has two openings on the 2020 schedule. BYU issued a statement on Thursday in response to the Big Ten’s decision to play only league foes this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Big Ten’s announcement today obviously has specific ramifications regarding the 2020 BYU football schedule. As we navigate the uncertainties of the current pandemic, BYU will continue to have discussions with other universities and our stakeholders to make the best possible decisions for our student-athletes and our athletic program.”
Losing two games on the football schedule less than two months before kickoff is bad enough. Then reports started to emerge that the Pac-12 was headed to a Conference-Only format as well. BYU has three games scheduled with the Pac-12, including the season-opening game against rival Utah on September 3rd.
Brett McMurphy from WatchStadium reported on Thursday that the ACC was likely headed to a conference-only schedule that included Independent Notre Dame. The SEC and Big 12 conferences have had no reports linking their leagues to a conference-only schedule this fall at this time.
BYU’s two games against Big Ten teams included Michigan State on September 12th in Provo and a trip to Minneapolis to face Minnesota on September 26th.
In their decision to go with a Conference-Only format, the Big Ten stated that they “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.”
The release from the Big Ten also doesn’t rule out the possibility of no football season being played at all. “As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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