Big Ten Football Season to Resume, Strict Medical Protocols Adopted
Universities may suspend return to competition on a week-to-week basis
The Big Ten Conference announced today that its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted to resume the 2020 football season beginning the weekend of October 23-24 while adopting significant medical protocols, including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and a data-driven approach to decisions about practices and competitions.
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, according to the Big Ten news release.
Rutgers University issued this statement about the decision:
The presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten were presented with a proposal by the Medical Subcommittee of its Return to Competition Task Force that was sufficiently compelling that conference members now support a plan to begin playing football on October 24.
The approved plan relies on daily rapid antigen testing of all athletes and other persons associated with each football program, on adherence to strict internal health protocols and on continual assessments of the health conditions for each team and the health conditions of its broader university community.
This is an approach that recognizes changing local health conditions, improvements in access to near-instantaneous antigen testing and an evolving understanding of effective health protocols.
Assessments of the conditions at Rutgers, as well as those for each opponent, will be made regarding all upcoming games. Individual universities may suspend the return to competition on a week-to-week basis if they or their scheduled opponents are experiencing significant negative changes among players and staff or within the broader university community.
The Rutgers University Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will abide by those protocols and conditions and will rely on the input of the university’s medical professionals to assure the health and safety of everyone involved in a return to intercollegiate competition this semester.