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Big East cancels fall sports

The Big East is the latest Division 1 conference to nix fall sports due to COVID-19.

UConn Men’s Soccer Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The Big East Conference has canceled fall sports, but has left the door open for the affected sports to start in spring 2021, according to a release from the conference.

“The decision to not hold fall sports competition was not made lightly,” said Chair of the Big East Board of Directors and Villanova University President the Reverend Peter M. Donohue. “Given the guidance of the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, this decision, while disappointing, was made with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff in mind.”

UConn women’s soccer coach Margaret Rodriguez, men’s soccer coach Ray Reid and the field hockey team all released statements on the news:

The league had already shortened schedules to conference-only play for six sports back in mid-July, but has now canceled men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey.

UConn’s total of sports missing the season is up to seven as each of those sports plus football will have to wait to begin their next season.

Other non-season play for baseball, softball, golf, lacrosse and tennis will also be canceled, according to the release.

This news was initially reported by Mark Blaudschun Wednesday afternoon and later by Dana O’Neil of The Athletic.

Two Power 5 conferences have already called off football for the season, as the PAC-12 and Big Ten both shut it down for the fall and may potentially play in the winter or spring. The Ivy League shut down all sports until the new year back in early-July.

Not all conferences are currently aligned, though, with the Big 12 pushing forward with their intention to play in the fall and the American’s Mike Aresco fighting reality to play.

The NCAA already called off the championship games for Division all fall sports for Division II and III, but of course they have kept the money-making Division I sports thus far - leaving it up to the conferences to make the decision whether or not to play. The NCAA even has a posting on their website with a stream of cancellations here.