Big Ten reverses course, football season to start Oct. 23/24

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 8:22 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2020 at 11:50 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Big Ten has reversed a decision regarding fall sports and will instead start the football season the weekend of October 23.

Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors have decided to allow competitions this fall, following weeks of discussions and seeking guidance from the Big Ten Return to Play Task Force.

According to a press release from the conference, “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.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green and Husker Athletic Director Bill Moos released a statement following the announcement.

“We are very pleased with the decision by the Big Ten to play football this fall after carefully considering the extensive work by the Medical Committee.

The safety protocols established by the conference are the most stringent in the country, and will help protect our student-athletes, staff and coaches. At Nebraska, we have worked hard since last spring to ensure the safety of our Husker family and are confident of the steps we’ve taken. We look forward to working with the Big Ten protocols and will be ready to play on October 24.

This is a big day for our student-athletes, coaches, our city, our state and all of Husker Nation. We look forward to seeing Coach Frost and our Huskers take the field – Go Big Red!”

UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green and Husker AD Bill Moos

Student-athletes, coaches, trainers and others who are on the field for practices and/or games will be required to undergo daily antigen testing, where results must be received and recorded prior to each practice or game.

Any student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 will undergo comprehensive cardiac testing and will be allowed to return to game competition no earlier than 21 days following a positive diagnosis.

Daily testing is expected to begin Wednesday, September 30.

Each Big Ten university will also be required to name a Chief Infection Officer who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the conference.

On August 11th, the Big Ten postponed all fall athletic competitions until 2021.

The conference was the target to national criticism for failing to thoroughly explain its decision to not play football in 2020.

Eight members of the Nebraska football team filed a lawsuit against the conference, while multiple league coaches challenged Big Ten officials to reconsider their stance.

The Big Ten joins the ACC, Big 12, and SEC as Power 5 conferences playing football this fall.

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