MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Big Ten football is back on for this fall.
Following days of speculation that Big Ten university presidents were rethinking their decision to push the season into the spring, the Big Ten announced Wednesday it unanimously voted to resume the fall football season.
According to the Big Ten, the eight-game football season will resume the weekend of Oct. 23.
In response to the news, University of Minnesota men’s football coach PJ Fleck released a two-word statement: “We’re back.”
The Big Ten says the decision to reinstate the fall football season was based on information by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, and the season will include stringent medical protocols.
“The Big Ten will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test,” the Big Ten said.
Each team will designate a Chief Infection Officer, who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the Big Ten Conference.
President Donald Trump also released a tweet in response to the announcement, calling it good news.
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
In August, the Big Ten postponed its fall season because of concerns about playing through the coronavirus pandemic, with presidents and chancellors voting 11-3 in favor. Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska voted against postponement.
Football teams for the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference began their seasons Saturday. The Southeastern Conference is not scheduled to kick off until Sept. 26.