The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that it will move to conference-only schedules for the 2020 fall season, effectively canceling West Virginia football’s week three matchup with Maryland.
The move by the conference is not just limited to football, as it also affects men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Further details will be revealed at a later date, and more decisions on any sports not previously mentioned will be announced at a later date.
“By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic,” the Big Ten said in a statement.
All permitted workouts this summer for Big Ten programs will continue to be voluntary, and all student-athletes who choose not to participate in athletics at any time during either the summer or the 2020-2021 academic year due to COVID-19 concerns will keep their scholarships.
Furthermore, the conference left the door open to a full cancellation of the fall season.
“As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate,” the Big Ten said.
The Mountaineers were slated to host the Terrapins in Morgantown on Sept. 19 for the 53rd meeting between the two programs. West Virginia currently leads the all-time series 28-22-2, taking victories in the last two meetings.