Big Ten rightly puts student athletes first
The Big Ten Conference this week became the first major college athletic conference to say no to fall sports, including football season.
“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “As time progressed … it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”
This is, of course, a major blow to college athletic programs. Football is one of the big-revenue sports that supports other programs that don’t draw huge crowds, like tennis, golf and swimming. The loss of that revenue, even if games are moved to the spring, may never be made up.
But this move, as painful as it may be, is the responsible move. We hope other major conferences will follow the Big Ten’s lead and put the health and safety of its student athletes above money or prestige.