After just one weekend of American football, it seems as though the bandwagon is going to grow.
There was a great deal of trepidation surrounding the 2020 seasons for both the NFL and the NCAA. The coronavirus crisis isn’t going anywhere, and there were concerns for both the fans who’d wish to attend the games, and for the athletes themselves – particularly at the collegiate level where these young people aren’t traditionally compensated for their play.
But now, after one weekend of games, only sparsely attended, (if attended at all), one of the previously abstaining college conferences is doing an about-face.
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 conference has indicated that it will utilize a number of newly-available COVID testing technologies, and will focus heavily on player safety throughout the season.
The season will be only 8 games long, although further details about the abbreviated schedule have yet to be released.
President Trump took some credit for the decision, issuing a bit of a gloating tweet.
Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. All teams to participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2020
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