The Big Ten has reversed course and will play football this fall. The league's presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to resume games starting the weekend of October 23 and 24. The conference plans to play eight games in eight weeks, wrapping up the season on December 19 with the conference championship game.
The Big Ten had been under pressure from student-athletes, parents, fans, and even President Donald Trump to play games this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. Officials said they have spent the past six weeks working on a way to resume games while ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes and staff members.
"Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love," said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. "We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of student-athletes, coaches, and administrators."
All student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and other individuals that are on the field for practices and games will have to undergo daily rapid COVID testing. Players who test positive will have to wait at least 21 days before they can return and must be cleared by a school appointed cardiologist. If the team's positivity rate tops 5% or if the positivity rate at the school rises above 7.5%, the team will be required to pause operations for at least seven days.
Fans are not expected to attend games, and officials did not say when they planned to release the schedule.
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