Big Ten announces start date for football season

Posted at 8:37 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 09:37:22-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Big Ten has decided they will play football after all.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to begin playing games the weekend of Oct. 23.

The announcement said that "significant" medical protocols were adopted to make the season happen.

According to the league, players and on-field staff will undergo daily antigen testing for COVID-19.

A focus will also be placed on cardiac effects that could be caused by the virus.

"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," the release read.

Teams will use team and population positivity rates to decide whether practices will continue throughout the season.

The testing of players will begin Sept. 30.

A decision has not been announced regarding other fall sports.