The Big Ten announced Saturday that its football teams cannot practice in pads, except for helmets, until further notice.
“All institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice,” a statement released by the conference said.
The Big Ten said the decision was made based on the advice and counsel of the conference’s task force for emerging infectious diseases and the Big Ten sports medicine committee.
“Each new phase of activity provides new intelligence and experience and allows us to evaluate the implementation of our Conference and institutional medical protocols in real-time,” the Big Ten statement said. “In order to make the right health and safety decisions for our student-athletes, we believe it is best to continue in the appropriate phase of activity referenced above while we digest and share information from each campus to ensure we are moving forward cautiously.”
Big Ten presidents are having a regularly scheduled meeting Saturday. The conference said that a vote regarding the 2020 football season is not planned.
Ohio State, which is between presidents, is not participating in the meeting, a source told The Dispatch. Former president Dr. Michael V. Drake left the school at the end of June. New president Kristina Johnson starts Sept. 1.