CHICAGO (CBS) — The Big Ten Conference will resume playing football next month, but fans will not be allowed in the stands.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors 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 to ensure a collaborative and transparent process.
The teams will be eight regular conference games. Then, in mid December, the conference will hold a seven game “Champions Week” in which teams from each division will play each other in a seeded format. The format will match up the teams based on their standings. For example, both first place teams will play for the league championship, and the second place teams will also play each other and so on.
Tickets will not be sold for the games, although universities will be allowed to accomodate families of players and coaches. The schedules are expected to be released later this week.
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.
All COVID-19 positive student-athletes will have to undergo comprehensive cardiac testing.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020: https://t.co/b5yHShGb1D
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 16, 2020
Eventually all Big Ten sports will require testing protocols before they can resume competition. Updates regarding fall sports other than football, as well as winter sports that begin in the fall including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and wrestling, will be announced shortly.