Big Ten announces plan to play football

Sports

ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Big Ten reversed course on Wednesday and announced plans to play football beginning the weekend of October 24.

The plan includes an 8-game season for each team.

The Big Ten will also require “student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games” to undergo daily testing.

Each institution will designate a Chief Infection Officer who will oversee the collection and reporting of data.

Daily testing will begin by September 30, according to conference officials.

“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. 

Shortly after the announcement, President Trump tweeted:

Ohio State officials responded to the big announcement. “We are so excited for all of Buckeye Nation and enthusiastically support the decision of the Big Ten Conference leadership to proceed with a fall season. What we have always wanted is an opportunity for our student-athletes to compete in the sports they love,”  Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson  said in a Zoom news conference on Wednesday.

“We studied how to create safe environments for our student-athletes through the Return to Competition Task Force, including a Medical Subcommittee co-chaired by our very own Dr. Jim Borchers. The plan developed by the subcommittee, which provides rigorous testing protocols to keep our student-athletes safe when they cannot social distance and wear masks, was crucial in reaching a unanimous decision for our football teams to return to competition and to have our athletics directors work with the coaches of all fall sports to develop schedules for their return to competition.”

On August 11, the Big Ten presidents and chancellors postponed all fall sports, including football, by an 11-3 margin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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