The Big Ten moved one step closer to reinstating the fall football season after the conference’s presidents and chancellors met with the return to competition task force on Sunday to discuss new testing programs that weren’t available when the conference decided to postpone fall sports last month, as well as the best date to kick off a potential season.
During the meeting, the Big Ten’s medical subcommittee, co-chaired by Ohio State team physician Dr. Jim Borchers and Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour, presented the conference with four new rapid-response antigen tests that would allow programs to test daily and decrease contact tracing. They also shared the latest information about myocarditis, a viral inflammation of the heart muscle found in some people who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19.
The Big Ten’s scheduling committee, which includes Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, and the conference’s television committee, which features athletic director Gene Smith, also gave presentations during the meeting.
According to multiple reports, an Oct. 17 start date is the most likely option, which would give teams a chance to complete an eight-game regular season and a conference championship game before the College Football Playoff selections are made on Dec. 20.
Though the two-and-a-half hour meeting did not end in a vote, one is expected later this week.
Big Ten bylaws require at least 60 percent of members – or at least nine of the 14 schools – be in favor of reinstating the season, which means at least six presidents or chancellors from schools other than Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State would have to change their minds from the last time they voted.
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