B1G releases official statement on return of fall football season
It’s official. The B1G football season will be returning this fall.
After multiple reports surfaced on Wednesday morning, the conference made its return official by releasing a statement on its return to competition. The season will begin the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and teams will play an eight-game schedule with the B1G Championship Game set for Dec. 19.
There will be no bye weeks for the 2020 fall season.
The B1G was the first conference to postpone the 2020 season, making the decision on Aug. 11. However, new developments in medical information, the availability of rapid testing and safety protocols brought the conversation of a fall season back to the table.
Below is a snippet from the B1G’s statement:
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition. The COP/C voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020. The decision was based on information presented by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, a working group that was established by the COP/C and Commissioner Kevin Warren to ensure a collaborative and transparent process.
The Big Ten will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test.
“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee.
“The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”
Each institution will designate a Chief Infection Officer (CInO) who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the Big Ten Conference. Team test positivity rate and population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine recommendations for continuing practice and competition.
You can view the full release from the B1G here.