I fully support the difficult Big Ten decision to postpone fall athletics competition. There are too many poorly understood health and safety concerns unique to intercollegiate athletics to move forward with practices and competition at present – and the impact of extreme physical exertion on the health risk of COVID-19 has not been well-assessed.
I join Athletic Director Warde Manuel and everyone at Michigan Athletics in expressing my empathy to all who were looking forward to competing, coaching, supporting and cheering us on as members of the Wolverine family. I particularly feel badly for our student-athletes who gain so much from participation in their sports and are such outstanding representatives of our university. We will work hard to return them safely to competition.
I also share my gratitude with the many individuals who have been working tirelessly to prepare for competition, including our student-athletes who have risen to the challenges of this pandemic and the many coaches, trainers and medical staff who have always made the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff their highest priority.
To our millions of fans worldwide, I thank you for your understanding and your patience. This decision is the right thing to do at this point in the pandemic. Your support of our teams and our student-athletes is inspiring, and Michigan will be back and ready to welcome you when it is safe to do so.