Ian Patrick, FISM News
The Big Ten is planning to resume their college football season starting on October 23 of this year, after their previous move to stop the season due to the coronavirus pandemic drew backlash from players, coaches, and fans. After a unanimous vote from the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors, the football season is returning with some changes to maintain safety and security.
According to the release on the Big Ten’s website, all “student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing….recorded prior to each practice or game.” If any athlete comes back with a positive test, they are required to take a polymerase chain reaction test as well for confirmation. If confirmed, these student-athletes are subjected to various cardiac tests and are required to be cleared by a cardiologist. Additionally, they cannot return until at least 21 days after a recorded COVID-19 positive diagnosis.
The institutions that comprise the Big Ten (which, as a reminder, there are 14 of them), will also “establish a cardiac registry….The registry and associated data will attempt to answer many of the unknowns regarding the cardiac manifestations in COVID-19 positive elite athletes.” There will also be an established Chief Infection Officer whose job it is to collect and report on the data gathered for the Big Ten Conference. These findings could ultimately determine the continuity of the season.
Testing will begin on September 30, and the site announced that all other sports would soon “require testing protocols before they can resume competition.”
Sourced from Big Ten.