The Big Ten reported that the Council of President and Chancellors; had voted in favor of permitting the football games in 2020.
The Big Ten will start its season from October 24; with teams playing eight regular-season games over eight weeks; along with its Championship Game and six additional consolation matches. The Big Ten Championship Game has been scheduled on December 19.
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However, fans won’t be able to attend the games this time as there won’t be any sale of tickets. Although exceptions would be made for players, coaches and their families.
Moreover, as a central focus of its back to play strategy; the Council has decided to conduct regular and rapid COVID-19 testing. The testing for players and coaches will begin post September 30. In case of a positive diagnosis; the earliest return to the game would be only after 21 days. Furthermore, the Big Ten has also unveiled new details about its myocarditis screening plans in the aftermath of some positive tests.
Originally, the Big Ten had decided to cancel football until 2021; amid the raising concerns about testing and tracing for COVID-19; along with long-term heart complications that have been identified in some coronavirus patients. Since then, the Big Ten has fought a multi-front public relations battle; as it was pressured by players, coaches, parents and even President Donald Trump.
Despite the delayed launch, and several hurdles, Big Ten’s decision to return to game seems reasonable. Moreover, Wisconsin football and hockey recently paused for two weeks after encountering a few positive diagnosis. Meanwhile, games continue to be postponed left and right around the country. Some of the 13 games that have been postponed are Virginia-Virginia Tech, Houston-Memphis, Army-BYU and SMU-TCU; some games may be canceled if new dates are not easily achieved.
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