The Iowa Hawkeyes football team still can’t believe it.
Nearly 24 hours after the Big Ten Conference decided to postpone the college football season, along with the rest of fall sports, the team tweeted out a heart-wrenching response.
“Still don’t believe it…” the school’s football account wrote Wednesday.
Iowa was one of the 14 programs in the conference to get their season taken away out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus. The Big Ten made the announcement, citing health concerns.
Conference officials said the decision was made after consultations with medical experts, including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee. Postponed sports include football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and field hockey.
“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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 Big Ten said it will “continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring.” Officials have yet to determine whether the conference’s winter and spring sports seasons will take place as scheduled.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz released a separate statement Tuesday after the decision came down.
“This is an extraordinarily disappointing day for everyone involved with Hawkeye football. While we respect the decision of the Big Ten, I want to thank University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld and Athletic Director Gary Barta for their spirited leadership as they worked to find a path for us to play this Fall. Sadly that was not the final decision. Our hope is now that our players will have the opportunity to compete in the Spring,” Ferentz said.
It’s unclear if Big Ten schools that disagree with the postponement will be permitted to pursue other options, such as breaking away from the conference and forming an alternative schedule with other programs. University of Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said the school had “options” if football season was canceled.