Big 10 Big ten College Football Coronavirus Intelwars Pac-12 Sports

Big Ten Conference reverses itself, votes to bring back college football during pandemic

It’s official. Big Ten college football will return in October.

The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors announced Wednesday after a unanimous vote that the conference’s football season will resume on the weekend of Oct. 23-24. The announcement follows reports that a proposal had been approved for the league to resume play and a hot mic moment from the University of Nebraska’s president suggesting an announcement was imminent.

Each school is to play eight games in a nine-week window, with the league title game tentatively set for Dec. 19, the Journal Sentinel reported. The decision on whether fans will be able to attend the games will likely be left up to individual schools.

In August, the Big Ten voted to postpone all college sports, including football, because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors soon followed suit, also voting to postpone its own fall sports season.

The Big Ten’s statement announcing the resumed play indicates student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and anyone else on the field for practice and games will undergo daily antigen testing for COVID-19. The decision to play was reportedly made after hours of deliberation Sunday afternoon in cooperation with the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, a team of medical experts that established rules and procedures to maintain the health and safety of the teams.

“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,” Dr. Jim Borchers, the head team physician at Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee, said.

“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,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. “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.”

Daily testing for football will begin by Sept. 30. Other Big Ten college sports will also require testing protocols before they may return to play. The Big Ten will soon announce updates on men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, and other winter sports.

The Pac-12 is also in discussion to return to play this year. ESPN reported that the “most aggressive” return plan is looking at mid-to-late November to see play return. The Pac-12 has partnered with Quidel Corporation, an FDA-approved rapid tests manufacturer, to prepare to test student-athletes daily for the coronavirus. However, schools in California and Oregon are dependent on state public officials to be cleared to resume play.

Big 10 College Football Covid shutdown COVID-19 Intelwars Iowa hawkeyes

Commentary: The move to cancel college football makes no sense

There’s a group of Iowa Hawkeye football parents who are fighting back with some questions. Questions any reasonable person would have after being told their kids can’t play Division 1 football this fall when another right down the road — Iowa State — appears to be ramping up to do exactly that.

Why haven’t the Big Ten power brokers communicated with the players or parents on the way to making such a drastic decision?

Why did that drastic decision need to be made now when three other major football conferences are giving it everything they’ve got to proceed?

How does it make sense that regular students will return to campus classes and dorms with far fewer overall protections than athletes have yet sports is the thing getting canceled?

Why are the reasons for shutting down so vague? What are all these “unknowns” you are all panicking about? What aren’t you telling us? Why should we trust you about playing in the spring when we can’t seem to trust you now?

And have you considered that the risks of not playing for these young, healthy individuals — on whom the virus has been statistically demonstrated to have less impact than the flu — may outweigh those from taking the field because of the loss of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and possible professional advancement?

Among those asking the questions is a dad who is a doctor and a mom who is a nurse. And whether they really believe they can turn this ridiculous decision around or not, we should all have their back for simply refusing to have “the experts” pee on them and tell them it’s raining.

Yet despite airing their concerns as parents last week, the overwhelming sentiment in sports talk seems to be that the possibility of reversing a decision of such magnitude seems to be beyond imagining. How about we check the deranged mental math on that. So no matter how badly a situation is handled, the larger the magnitude or impact of the decision in question makes it even more likely that such a decision must be adhered to at all costs?

The Peter Principle lives. “If it’s dumb, do it” seems to be the mission statement here.

Well, as the great prophet Nick Fury once said: “I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it’s a stupid-a** decision, I’ve elected to ignore it.”

Amen, amen I say to you.

For goodness’ sake, we live in a world where we’ve been misled by one of the chief medical officers in the country, Lord Anthony Fauci, for months. A world where lockdowns have ignored economic catastrophe, scientific reality and the degradation of liberties at a pornographic level while elevating BLM rioters to the status of Rosa Parks.

Dare I say then that one lesson all of us, who don’t have our heads permanently stuck in our backsides, should have learned by now is that there are some gigantically bad decisions the “experts” are making. So we’d be really dumb not to at least question them before bestowing infallibility once more.

None of this makes any damn sense. None. And the minute we start accepting that as our lot in life, we lose way more than football.

Big 10 College Football Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars NCAA Power 5

College football is in jeopardy with at least one major conference reportedly voting to cancel fall season

The Big Ten, one of college football’s elite “Power Five” conferences, has voted to cancel the fall football season because of COVID-19 health and safety concerns, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Presidents for the conference’s 14 universities reportedly voted 12-2 to cancel the fall season, with Iowa and Nebraska as the two schools that voted to play, according to sources who spoke to the Free Press anonymously because they weren’t authorized to talk about it publicly yet.

A heart condition linked to COVID-19 has been found in five Big Ten athletes, reportedly fueling concerns about whether the season should be played.

The Big Ten bailing on the fall season could be the first major domino to fall that leads other top schools or conferences to make the same decision, although there is not unanimity among the five conferences about how to go forward. Some want to go forward with the fall, others favor pushing the season to the spring in hopes that the pandemic will be more under control by then.

The Mid-American Conference, which is not in the Power Five, became the first school in the Football Bowl Subdivision to cancel its season.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that it was told by another Big Ten source that no final decision has been made regarding cancellation of the season.

Despite the vote from the presidents, players and coaches from around the country, including from Big Ten schools that voted to cancel, have publicly expressed their desire to play. Some have argued that players are actually safer within the confines of a controlled campus athletics environment than they would be at home.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban told ESPN. “I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2% positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of July. It’s a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar or just hanging out.”

The potential for some Power Five conferences to cancel fall seasons has led to speculation that schools that want to play may attempt to switch conferences and join other schools that want to go forward with the season, although such movement could be prohibited under contractual agreements.