Breaking: 9:23 a.m. Here is the Big Ten’s official announcement of their return to play:
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.”
This will be the strictest standard of any conference or school so far:
The earliest a student-athlete can return to game competition is 21 days following a COVID-19 positive diagnosis.
And here are the standards that will be used to determine what programs can practice and compete, and will be based on a seven-day rolling average with information from each school’s newly-appointed Chief Infection Officer
Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:
Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.
The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.
Update 10:30 a.m. Here’s a twist:
Barry Alvarez says: "We will play 8 games plus 1." Unique championship week. Teams from East and West will match up and play (second place vs. second place, etc.) w/ the championship game played after.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) September 16, 2020
The Big Ten will return to football via an announcement sometime on Wednesday, according to several media reports. Multiple reports have the league planning a return for the weekend of October 24th.
Sources: The Big Ten is coming back and will begin the weekend of Oct. 24. It'll include daily, rapid testing as a fixture of the plan. A statement from the league is imminent.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 16, 2020
The Big Ten will begin its fall season the weekend of October 24, a source tells @TheAthleticCFB. Official announcement coming shortly. Daily rapid testing is a huge reason this is possible. @PeteThamel had it first.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) September 16, 2020
Good morning, Big Ten fans. Today looks like your day. Sources tell @SInow that a return to fall football is expected to be announced today, perhaps before noon.— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) September 16, 2020
6ABC in Philadelphia, the home of legendary news anchor Jim Gardner, is also reporting that we’ll Big Ten football in 2020.
Big Ten football is coming back.
ABC News has confirmed the conference is expected to announce Wednesday morning that Big Ten football will return next month.According to ABC News, the decision was made after several days of debate among the university’s presidents and chancellors in light of spiking COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities across the country.
The Big Ten conference includes several schools in our region, including Penn State and Rutgers universities.
The B1G was one of the first conferences to cancel the 2020, and with it the Mid-American Conference shut down as well, partially due to the lack of guarantee games created by the Big Ten’s cancelation. Now both leagues look set to return.
Check back here as we’ll have coverage of the 14-school conference making its return to the gridiron, including any details on the upcoming schedule for the season.