Commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held an emergency meeting on Sunday, as there is growing concern among college athletics officials that the upcoming football season and other fall sports can’t be played because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN.
Several sources have indicated to ESPN that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, are ready to pull the plug on its fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge if commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — will fall in line with them.
Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone football season, hopefully to the spring. A Big Ten official confirmed to ESPN that no official vote took place during Saturday’s meeting.
“It doesn’t look good,” one Power 5 athletic director said.
The Mid-American Conference on Saturday became the first FBS league to postpone the fall sports season, including football.
Presidents and chancellors of the Pac-12 universities are scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
Several sources have told ESPN over the last 48 hours that the postponement or cancellation of the football season seems inevitable. Many of those sources believed that it ultimately will take a Power 5 conference to move things in that direction, and that either the Big Ten or Pac-12 would probably be the first league to do it.
“Nobody wanted to be the first to do it,” a Power 5 coach told ESPN, “and now nobody will want to be the last.”
A Power 5 administrator added: “It feels like no one wants to, but it’s reaching the point where someone is going to have to.”
The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have wanted to wait to see what happened after thousands of students returned to their campuses this month, but they might be forced to act if the Big Ten and/or Pac-12 take action this week, the sources said.
Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.