ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg is reporting that the Big Ten is not expected to make a league-wide announcement on athletes returning to campus. Instead, the conference is leaving the decision to the 14 individual schools according to the report.
The approach by the Big Ten is different than other power five conferences including the SEC and Big 12, which have approved league wide plans for athletes to return.
Instead, the Big Ten will defer to NCAA rulings and guidelines with each campus, state and local area.
The various league decisions follow announcements by the NCAA that permit voluntary athletics activities in all Division I sports starting June 1.
Indiana University is targeting mid-June to have athletes back on campus.
President Michael McRobbie posted a 22-page plan on the school’s website outlining the plan to reopen the university in stages. The plan includes the return of at least a percentage of all students this fall.
Indiana’s restart committee decided to allow researchers back on campus first, around June 1.
About two weeks later athletes should be able to return, resulting in the mid-June target.
The student body would come back to start the fall semester.
IU’s plan includes several preventative measures, such as social distancing, and it remains contingent on federal and state guidance pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee also decided large events should be evaluated individually based on their importance to the university.
Whether fall sports including IU football will start on time remains an open question. Moreover, whether fans will be permitted to attend the games is still unknown.
The Big Ten presidents will meet June 7 and discuss the fall sports season and other major topics.
Indiana is scheduled to open its 2020 football season on Sept. 4 at Wisconsin.
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