Just weeks after announcing the postponement of all fall semester sports, the Big Ten Conference and its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to resume the football season beginning on Oct. 23.
“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement Wednesday morning.
“Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love. 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 emergence of daily rapid-response COVID-19 testing — not available when university presidents and chancellors decided to pull the plug on the season — helped trigger a re-vote.
The Pac-12 recently announced a partnership with a diagnostic lab that will give the conference’s schools the capacity to test athletes daily. The Big Ten believes it can do the same and that it is a game-changer.