Big Ten Votes to Begin Football Season in October
The Big Ten conference ultimately reversed course and decided to play the 2020 college football season in the fall – starting October 23-24.
After long deliberation, conversations with political figures including the President of the United States himself, upset parents, and a lawsuit, the league found a way back to football by adopting "significant medical protocols."
"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 league said in a press release Wednesday morning.
"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."
Warren and five other Big Ten leaders met with the media following the announcement to discuss what led them to their new decision, and safety was of the utmost importance.
"The only focus and goal that we've had over the last 40 days was to safely allow our student-athletes to return to competition," Warren said.
Wisconsin's athletic director Barry Alvarez, chair of the scheduling committee, said four different models were presented when determining how the fall will look.
Each university will play eight games, plus an additional contest. Teams from the Big Ten East and West will compete against each other – meaning there will be a championship game; however, it won't be released until later this week.
Alvarez added, "As far as I understand, our athletes will be able to start practice immediately ... we have plenty of time to acclimate."
But will there be fans?
According to Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour, the league decided there won't be any public sale of tickets.
Even so, they are looking into how players' families (at home and away games) can be accommodated.
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