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BigTen football to resume starting the weekend of October 23-24


This news story was published on September 16, 2020.
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Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium

CHICAGO – The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols including 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 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.

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. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test.

“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee.

“The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”

Each institution will designate a Chief Infection Officer (CInO) who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the Big Ten Conference. Team test positivity rate and population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine recommendations for continuing practice and competition.

All COVID-19 positive student-athletes will have to undergo comprehensive cardiac testing to include labs and biomarkers, ECG, Echocardiogram and a Cardiac MRI. Following cardiac evaluation, student-athletes must receive clearance from a cardiologist designated by the university for the primary purpose of cardiac clearance for COVID-19 positive student-athletes. The earliest a student-athlete can return to game competition is 21 days following a COVID-19 positive diagnosis.

In addition to the medical protocols approved, the 14 Big Ten institutions will establish a cardiac registry in an effort to examine the effects on COVID-19 positive student-athletes. The registry and associated data will attempt to answer many of the unknowns regarding the cardiac manifestations in COVID-19 positive elite athletes.

“From the onset of the pandemic, our highest priority has been the health and the safety of our students. The new medical protocols and standards put into place by the Big Ten Return To Competition Task Force were pivotal in the decision to move forward with sports in the conference,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President, and Chair of the Return to Competition Task Force Steering Committee. “We appreciate the conference’s dedication to developing the necessary safety procedures for our students and the communities that embrace them.”

“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”

The Big Ten Conference will use data provided by each Chief Infection Officer (CInO) to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition, as determined by team positivity rate and population positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average:
Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
Green 0-2%
Orange 2-5%
Red >5%
Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
Green 0-3.5%
Orange 3.5-7.5%
Red >7.5%
Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:
Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.
The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.

Eventually all Big Ten sports will require testing protocols before they can resume competition. Updates regarding fall sports other than football, as well as winter sports that begin in the fall including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and wrestling, will be announced shortly.

Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta statement:

“The seriousness of the pandemic is still very real, but I’m pleased for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we’ve been able to create a path forward. The medical professionals at every Big Ten institution have worked tirelessly to create strong protocols that can be consistently applied to every campus. The frequency, availability, and reliability of daily testing was a game changer. This announcement has been much anticipated as it relates to football, but the path forward approved by our Presidents and Chancellors was important for all sports. I’m thankful for the time President Harreld, and every Big Ten campus leader, dedicated to this resolution.”

Iowa Head football coach Kirk Ferentz statement:

Head Coach Kirk Ferentz

“This is welcome news for all of our players, coaches and fans. Our focus is now to train and prepare to compete on October 23-24, recognizing the health and safety of our players is our number one priority. I am proud of the attitude and work ethic our players have displayed over the past several weeks of uncertainty. The players are very excited to play and the coaches are excited to coach them. Go Hawks!”

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10 Responses to BigTen football to resume starting the weekend of October 23-24

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 20, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Hid in’ Biden just said 200 million have died from the Chinese virus!!!
    STAY HOME !!!
    There is only 100 million of us left !!!

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    WE. LOVE. YOU !!

    President Trump !!

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2020 at 4:34 am

    TRUMP 2020

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 18, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Caved in to the pressure of being a feeder system for the NFL.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 18, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    THANK
    YOU
    PRESIDENT TRUMP !!!!
    We
    LOVE
    YOU

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 19, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Only a cult follower would praise a leader for making football more important then the American people.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 20, 2020 at 10:17 pm

        You are a clown and have rocks in your head…