Big Ten pauses transition to full padded practices

The Big Ten isn’t canceling the football season — yet — but the conference announced Saturday it will not be allowing teams to start padded practices as scheduled.

“…[B]ased on the advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, that, 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,” the conference said in a statement.

Many teams started fall camp on Thursday and Friday. Wisconsin is scheduled to start on Monday.

“We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all,” the statement read. “As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.”

Earlier on Saturday, the MAC became the first FBS conference to cancel its football season. The conference has an eye toward competing in the spring.