Big Ten says football season to start weekend of Oct. 23-24
(WBAY) - College football fans rejoice. The Big Ten Conference will start its football season the weekend of Oct. 23-24.
The Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to start the season after delaying it due to COVID-19.
The Wisconsin Badgers are part of the Big Ten Conference. No schedule was immediately released.
“There are still many details to be worked out, but I will be happy to see the Badgers return to competition in 2020," says UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Click here to read Blank’s full statement. “I’m particularly grateful to Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, who led the Return to Competition Committee, which developed a viable schedule.”
The conference says it has adopted “adopted significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition.”
The conference will require daily COVID-19 testing, with results needed before each practice or game. This is for athletes, coaches, trainers and others on the field. Daily testing starts Sept. 30.
“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 team will be required to establish a cardiac registry. All athletes who test positive for COVID-19 will undergo “comprehensive cardiac testing.” From there, they’ll need to receive clearance from a cardiologist.
COVID-19 has been linked to a heart condition called myocarditis, which can cause inflammation of the heart muscle.
A minimum of 21 days would pass between a positive test and return to play.
In August, the conference announced it would postpone 2020-2021 falls sports due to concerns over the virus pandemic.
“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.”
President Donald Trump tweeted support for the decision.
Action 2 News will update this developing story.
Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.