Rutgers football on hold as Big Ten conference postpones season
Greg Schiano's return to the actual sidelines at SHI Stadium will have to wait a little longer after the Big Ten voted to delay the start of the football season because of concern about the potential spread of coronavirus.
The Big Ten Conference voted on Tuesday to postpone the fall athletic sports season, which includes football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and women’s volleyball.
“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 written statement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.
The conference said it would "continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring."
Rutgers football had already started its football camp for the season but put the entire organization in quarantine after 10 people connected to the team tested positive for COVID-19.
NJ.com, citing three unnamed sources close to the team, reported that as of this week 28 players as well as multiple staff members have tested positive. The sources told NJ.com that the entire team is quarantined in an on-campus facility.
The school brought Greg Schiano back as head football coach with an eight-year, $32 million deal in an attempt to bring the team to the success it enjoyed during his previous tenure.
Rutgers Athletics on Tuesday afternoon did not respond to Townsquare Media's request for a reaction to the decision.
Both Gov. Phil Murphy and state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said players had tested positive after attending a campus party.
The Ivy League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and New Jersey Athletic Conference all canceled their fall athletic seasons but also left open the possibility of play in the winter and spring.
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