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Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced Tuesday that they've voted to postpone their 2020 fall sports seasons, including football, due to risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, hoping instead to play in the spring.

Why it matters: The move from two of the most prominent conferences in college sports will almost certainly prompt other Power Five leagues to follow suit.

  • The move affects "men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball," per the Big Ten's announcement.
  • The decisions come after the Mid-American Conference became the first FBS league to postpone fall sports last Saturday.
  • The Big Ten previously announced it would play a conference-only schedule, but the state of the outbreak in the U.S. — which is still reporting over 1,000 deaths a day and over five million total cases — has made the situation untenable.
  • The PAC-12 is scrapping its previous plan to hold a 10-game conference-only season.

The big picture: The pressure to suspend college football has been fueled by concerns about myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition, which has been linked to COVID-19, has been found in at least five Big Ten Conference athletes, along with several athletes in other conferences, ESPN reports.

The other side: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh issued a letter on Monday arguing in favor of playing, saying he believed "that this virus can be controlled and handled because of the facts," per MLive. He cited his team's success in testing athletes and coaches and noted it had "zero pauses in our training" as a result of the pandemic.

  • A dozen players from all five major conferences released a joint statement on Sunday expressing their desire to play the 2020 season, while laying out their plans to form a players' association in the future.

Go deeper: The college football season is on the brink

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - Health

NYC will again close public schools amid virus surge

A student is informed by a crossing guard of a temporary school closure in Brooklyn. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

New York City's public school system will close for in-person learning beginning Thursday after coronavirus positivity rates in the city topped 3%, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Why it matters: The city, which is staring down a second coronavirus wave after being the world's epicenter for the pandemic earlier this year, previously boasted having more students physically in classrooms than nearly any other locality in the country, per the New York Times.

The Thanksgiving time bomb

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are at new peaks, cities and states are weighing second lockdowns, and flu season is upon us — but we're all looking the other way.

Why it matters: Pandemic fatigue has set in and the nation has collectively stopped caring just in time for the holiday season. This Thanksgiving could be catastrophic for public health.