The Big Ten Conference announced Saturday morning that league football teams must practice with helmets only for the foreseeable future.
“. . . 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 Big Ten said in a statement. “All other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.”
Nebraska started fall camp on Friday and shared photos and video of the team working out in helmets only. Teams are usually allowed to practice in pads by the third day of camp.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) August 2, 2019
“Each new phase of activity provides new intelligence and experience and allows us to evaluate the implementation of our Conference and institutional medical protocols in real-time,” the Big Ten said. “In order to make the right health and safety decisions for our student-athletes, we believe it is best to continue in the appropriate phase of activity referenced above while we digest and share information from each campus to ensure we are moving forward cautiously.
“We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all. 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.”
The Big Ten’s announcement on practice comes only a few days after the league announced its new schedules for the fall. Big Ten presidents are meeting Saturday in a normally scheduled meeting, with all options for fall sports currently on the table. However, it doesn’t appear that enough support exists to make any decisions for fall just yet.