MSU President, AD, & Head Coach on the Return of B1G Football
Early Wednesday morning, the Big Ten announced, "The COP/C voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020."
According to Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, an eight-game schedule (plus one) is slated to be released later this week.
In response, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker issued a statement:
"From daily antigen testing for all of our players, coaches, and staff to extensive cardiac protocols and protection, the Big Ten Conference and Michigan State are leading the charge to put our players on the field safely and competitively.
"Our players have been relentlessly training in our strength and conditioning program, and we will be ready to compete. Thank you to all our Spartan fans for your support and the Big Ten Task Force and the medical leaders who got us here today. Go Green!"
Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley supports the "decision to allow a modified fall football season."
"With all that we've learned in the past month about rapid response testing, and from other athletic leagues, both professional and collegiate, I feel more confident that we can collectively play football while still keeping our student-athletes, coaches and staff safe.
"MSU will adhere to the regulations put forth by the Big Ten Conference to move forward in a safe and thoughtful manner," said Stanley.
Bill Beekman, Michigan State's athletic director, commented on the leagues' decision to return to action, saying, "As an athletic department, our goal is to provide opportunities for student-athletes, and I'm thrilled that our football student-athletes will have the opportunity to play this fall. In pursuit of those goals, the first priority is always the health and safety of our student-athletes.
"With the recent advances in rapid response testing and with stringent medical protocols in place, we are able to provide athletic opportunities while keeping the health of our student-athletes as a foremost principle.
"I'm grateful that the COP/C (Council of Presidents and Chancellors) was willing to revisit their decision when presented with updated information, and I'm appreciative of the effort put in by both the medical community and my fellow athletic directors across the conference in gathering and presenting that information.
"I know Coach Mel Tucker is eager to begin his first season as Michigan State's football coach, and I've been extremely impressed by the way he's kept our guys motivated throughout the summer and fall, even when the season was postponed. And most importantly, I must reiterate how happy I am for our student-athletes.
"They always work hard, but this year has been an offseason like none other, and still they've persevered and never lost their focus. While football games will definitely look different this fall, I know I will still have immense pride as I watch the Spartans run through the tunnel at Spartan Stadium."
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