BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ever since the Big Ten postponed fall sports, they have been trying to come up with ways to play the football season as early as possible.
One of the popular choices has been to start in early January, using dome stadiums in the Midwest to play its games due to the weather.
But according to a report from USA Today Sports, recent discussion has surrounded starting the Big Ten football season of at least eight games the week of Thanksgiving.
At least for Indiana's schedule, the university is sending students home the week of Thanksgiving and giving them an extended break, which means they won't return to in-person classes until early February.
This means Bloomington would be less crowded and most likely easier to keep athletes safe and less exposed to COVID-19.
A big reason this discussion is happening is because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for a rapid antigen test designed by Abbott Labs. The test is expected to cost $5 and the results should be available in just 15 minutes, without the sample being sent to a lab.
According to the report, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has noted the importance of being able to get rapid test results to be sure athletes and staff members are not infected.
“We thought that potentially could be an answer for us,” Alvarez said recently. “If we had a saliva test that we could get back within an hour.
“Heck, we could have our guys do their test, go in and have breakfast and they’d have an answer before they went to practice and we could have a clean practice field.”