College football fans rejoice!
According to CBS Sports, on Tuesday (Sept 15), The Big Ten announced that its Council of Presidents and Chancellors has voted to allow the league to play football in fall 2020. The Big Ten also added that they will open its season on the weekend of Oct. 24 with teams playing eight regular-season games over eight weeks along with a Big Ten Championship Game and six additional consolation games.
“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement.
Big Ten also announced, “significant medical protocols” that will be implemented, including daily COVID-19 antigen testing. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus will “undergo comprehensive cardiac testing” and be required to receive clearance from a cardiologist, and have to wait at least three weeks after testing positive to play. The organization also said it will establish a “cardiac registry” to help “examine the effects on COVID-19 positive 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,” Warren continued. “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.”
The emergence of daily rapid-response COVID-19 testing was not initially available when university presidents and chancellors reached their first decision to cancel the season until Spring 2021, but the availability and reliability of the tests, helped trigger a re-vote.
The Pac-12 recently announced a partnership with a diagnostic lab that will give the conference’s schools the capacity to test athletes daily. The Big Ten believes it can do the same and that it is a game-changer.
“Each institution will designate a Chief Infection Officer (CInO) who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the Big Ten Conference,” the statement said. “Team test positivity rate and population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine recommendations for continuing practice and competition.”
Testing will begin on Sept. 30 and student-athletes who do test positive at any point in the season will have to wait at least 21 days from their diagnosis to return to competition.
The Big Ten Announces Official and Allegedly Safe October Return was originally published on hiphopwired.com