Big Ten football to return on October 24

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

On the morning of September 16, the Big Ten held a joint press conference between all fourteen member schools on their decision to revive the fall football season. A unanimous vote determined that the conference would in fact have a football season this fall, beginning on October 24, as announced by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors.

Previously on August 28 of this year, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren announced that the schools had voted 11-3 to not have a season for fall sports, with the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska and Ohio State University being the three schools to vote in favor. Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, many Big Ten university presidents and athletics directors had concerns about bringing large crowds of people together for football games and tailgating. But upon pressure from student-athletes, parents, local politicians and even the President of the United States, the Big Ten decided to re-vote on the matter.

The conference has put in place strict medical protocols for players, coaches and others involved with university athletics. Anyone on the field for games and practices will be required to be tested daily, with test results being required to be completed before each practice and game. Should any one of these individuals test positive for COVID-19, they will be required to undergo extensive cardiac testing and lab procedures, followed by a medical clearance from a university-designated cardiologist. Student-athletes are able to return to play 21 days after a positive test at the earliest.

The decision comes at a time in which the Big 12, SEC and ACC have already started their fall sports seasons, along with smaller mid-major conferences. Following the Big Ten’s decision, the PAC 12 remains the only major collegiate sports conference to have their fall sports season on hold.