PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Heads up Penn State and Rutgers football fans: there will be a Big Ten football season this fall beginning in October, as officials announced a reversal in their decision to cancel the season. The conference will be adding daily rapid COVID-19 testing as part of its reporting plan to ensure the safety of students, players and staff members.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of Oct. 23-24 after meeting with subcommittees of the conference’s Return to Competition Task Force over the weekend.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) September 16, 2020
All student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for practices and games will have to undergo daily testing for COVID-19.
All test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game.
Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus through the point of contact testing must receive a polymerase chain reaction test to confirm the positive result.
The earliest a student-athlete can return to team activities after receiving a positive COVID-19 test is 21 days. Any student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 will also undergo comprehensive cardiac testing and receive clearance before returning to practices or games.
“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.
Each Big Ten institution will Chief Infection Officer to handle the collection and report the data for the Big Ten Conference. The Chief Infection Officer will also make decisions regarding the continuation or practice or games, based on the team’s positivity rate and population positive rate given a seven-day rolling average.
Daily testing will begin on Sept. 30.
The scheduling plan is to have each team play an eight-game season.
Penn State’s athletic director says fans will not be allowed in the stands.