Skip to Content

Big Ten elects to play conference-only schedule; Illinois vs. Illinois State canceled

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Illinois Football

(HOI) -- The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that they will be moving to a conference-only schedule for all sports this fall.

The conference says by limiting competition to within its conference, they will have the greatest flexibility in adjusting operations and making quick decisions.

For Illinois football that means no games against their scheduled non-conference opponents, Illinois State, Connecticut and Bowling Green.

Illinois' first scheduled football game is now October 3rd at Rutgers. The distance between Illinois and Illinois State's campus is about 53 miles, while Rutgers' campus is approximately 817 miles away.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference is also feeling the effects of the Big Ten's decision.

Illinois State's canceled game against Illinois would have brought in about $450,000 to ISU's athletic department.

Following the scheduling announcement, Illinois State Athletic Director Larry Lyons said,

"I spoke with (Illinois Director of Athletics) Josh Whitman earlier today and he advised me of the decision made by the Big Ten Conference. I appreciate him taking the time to pick up the phone and speak to me personally. We agreed to let the dust settle and have a follow-up conversation in a few days. Obviously, we are disappointed by the decision as there are many people affiliated with both Universities that have had this game circled on their calendars for a long time. The fact of the matter is that the game will not be played, and we will adjust and move forward. That is how we have been operating since March and we will continue to do so as things continue to change due to this pandemic."

Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, and South Dakota State all had big ten opponents scheduled in 2020 as well.

Missouri Valley Football Conference Commissioner Patty Viverito told Heart of Illinois ABC on Thursday, "I wish I had answers. At this point, I only have questions!"

Illinois State's first football game will now fall on September 12th when they host Eastern Illinois.

University of Illinois Athletics released a statement Thursday saying,

"We anticipate a flurry of questions from fans, ticket holders, donors and others regarding the implications of that announcement for football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country at the University of Illinois. Many of these questions do not yet have answers because there are still many pending decisions regarding length of season, opponents, home and away schedule dates, ticket prices and more. As soon as more information becomes available, we will share it broadly using all communication methods."

Author Profile Photo

Holden Krusemark

Skip to content