Reports: Big Ten Letter Discusses 'Preseason Camp' Start 'Decision,' Policies
When will "preseason camp" season start for the Wisconsin Badgers and other Big Ten schools and their respective programs? That appears not quite set in stone, based on a reported letter sent out earlier this week by conference commissioner Kevin Warren and chair of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dr. Chris Kratochvil.
ElevenWarriors.com's Dan Hope first reported the letter -- addressed to Big Ten athletic directors on July 30 -- on Friday morning. Cleveland.com's Nathan Baird, GoldandBlack.com's Tom Dienhart and The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach and Matt Fortuna later provided news of its existence.
Read it in full as seen in Auerbach's tweet below:
Many who have already written about said letter have pointed to this key section pertaining to "Timing":
"We want to say as clearly as we can that we understand the frustration associated with the circumstances created by the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic has made it challenging to provide information as early as we would like, but it is important for us to be thorough and transparent. We will not, and cannot, proceed with preseason camp until we are certain that we can do so safely and that will depend, in part, on testing. Once we have everything in place to execute our testing protocols effectively, including the appropriate number of tests secured for all fall sports, we can make a decision as to whether preseason camp will begin as currently scheduled. We anticipate making that decision within the next 5 days."
"Big Ten Conference medical policies and protocols," as noted in the letter, will be unveiled "during the week of August 3, 2020."
On Thursday night, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reported some news via Twitter about the Big Ten, as seen below.
In June, the NCAA Division I Council approved a blueprint for a college football preseason; however, that "model does not make any adjustments to the legislated 29-day preseason practice period," according to that particular NCAA release.
The programs' "preseason practice period" was set to kick off on Aug. 7 (if one's first football game is set to take place on Sept. 5). As Wisconsin was slated to start at home against Indiana a day earlier on Sept. 4, that would have then fallen on Aug. 6.
Now, we will see just when the Badgers begin preparing for the 2020 season, and actually when said season could begin.
Earlier this month, the Big Ten announced that it would stay within its league for competition for fall sports. The July 30 letter from Warren and Kratochvil also notes that "many options are under consideration within each sport, and we expect these updated schedules to be released in August 2020."
Warren and Kratochvil also detail out the following under its "Health and Safety is of Paramount Importance" subsection near the top of the letter:
"The health and safety of our students, student-athletes, and everyone associated with our Big Ten university communities has been and will remain our primary focus. We remain hopeful to compete this fall in men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball, understanding that we must operate in a manner that seeks to address the challenges that COVID-19 presents. If we determine as a Conference that it is not prudent to compete in the fall of 2020, we will not do so, much like our decision in March 2020 to cancel the Men's Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. Our final decision will be rooted in guidance from medical experts and in consultation with institutional leadership, student-athletes, coaches and appropriate federal, state and local authorities."