MSU, U-M respond to Big Ten's fall postponement

Reports: Big Ten postpones 2020 football season
Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 18:04:49-04

The University of Michigan and Michigan State University responded Tuesday to the Big Ten’s postponement of all sports for the upcoming fall season.

The Big Ten said it made the decision based on the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We will continue to work with the Big Ten Conference as we look for opportunities for athletics to resume in the future,” Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. Said. “Collectively, we need to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others and follow the guidance of our health and medical experts to protect the mental and physical health of our student-athletes.”

Statement from MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman:

“The decision to postpone the fall season is heartbreaking. Our student-athletes have put in tireless hours of hard work to earn their scholarships and their places on our teams. They are what inspire every one of us who work in intercollegiate athletics. We understand that today’s news will be devastating for many of them. As an athletic department our goal is to provide opportunities for student-athletes both academically, athletically and socially. Sadly, the time has come where we must postpone those athletic opportunities, at least for the fall. “We appreciate the hard work put in by the university medical team and athletic training staff over the last few months. They’ve worked without ceasing to develop and implement a Return to Campus plan that provided an opportunity to play sports, but with never losing focus on our first priority: the health and safety of our student-athletes. The care of our student-athletes since their arrival has been exceptional. “We tried to be in a place where we could play intercollegiate athletics, and at the time we announced our Return to Campus plan and welcomed student-athletes back on campus in June, things were trending in the right direction. However, it’s become clear that we are simply not in a position to move forward. “Over the next few months, we will continue to support the academic and social development of our student-athletes, and to whatever extent is possible, also their athletic training, while continuing to place a priority on their physical and mental health. This is a sad day in the history of Michigan State and Big Ten athletics, but we are resolute that we will continue to move forward and prepare for when we can safely return to competition.”

Statement from Warde Manuel, director of athletics at University of Michigan:

"For the second time in five months, the Big Ten Conference made the unfortunate but necessary decision to postpone an athletic season in order to protect the health and well-being of our student-athletes, staff, and community members. As a result, all fall sport schedules have been postponed. This latest decision was reached after careful consideration and the grim knowledge that this pandemic continues to affect our country adversely. I am deeply saddened for our student-athletes and remain committed to our ongoing promise to provide them with a world-class education. We remain grateful to our global Michigan family for their unwavering support."

The University of Michigan also suspended all athletic activities, including practices, until further notice effective immediately. This includes team practices for all fall, winter, and spring sports.