University of Nebraska-Lincoln football’s Spring Game was already in question thanks to the number of college activities canceled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. While all basketball and baseball games were canceled earlier this week, the decision for to hold practices had been left to individual schools. That is no longer the case.
The Big Ten conference announced on Friday morning that it was ordering teams under its purview to halt all team activities. This means Nebraska’s spring practices are also on hold.
First reported on Twitter by HuskerOnline.com team writer Robin Washut, the hold is currently set to last a couple of weeks, ending on April 6. The conference added that it will be looking at how things change over the next few weeks to determine when exactly to resume activities.
If Nebraska cannot hold any practices until next month, it stands to reason the Huskers’ Spring Game, originally scheduled for April 18, will at the very least be pushed back. Further complicating matters is the fact UNL’s classes are all going online when students “return” from spring break on March 30th. Of course, there is a bit of a bright spot in that Nebraska is not closing its campus, as some other universities have done.
— Robin Washut (@RobinWashut) March 13, 2020
The school has explained that they are leaving the campus open so that any students who cannot go home during this time will still have somewhere to go. A nice side effect is that the Nebraska football team can pick up where it left off should the epidemic start to wane and the halt lifted.
The same can’t be said for the Nebraska baseball team, whose season is over. The Big Ten’s decision to cancel all competitions – announced on Thursday – still stands. This means that even if state and local officials give the ok to return to “normal” life, college baseball and basketball seasons won’t resume.
Nebraska previously said it was looking at whether or not to cancel the Spring Game. Most within the program thought the eventual answer would be yes.
The Big Ten taking the decision out of the school’s hands for a few weeks could actually keep the matchup alive. Should the Big Ten announce it’s lifting the order on April 6, there would still be plenty of time for the Huskers to go back to work, as this week was only the first week of practice.
Whether the Big Ten just killed this year’s Spring Game or gave it new life will be known in the coming weeks.