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Big Ten changes course, aims for October start to football

(AP/Fort Wayne's NBC) - Big Ten is going to give fall football a shot after all. Less than five weeks after the conference announced it would push football and other fall sports to spring because of the pandemic, the conference changed course.

The Big Ten plans to begin its season the weekend of Oct. 24 with an eight-game schedule for each team.

The Big Ten says its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to restart sports.

"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."

Big Ten Officials

According to officials, each institution will designate a Chief Infection Officer (CInO) who will oversee the collection and reporting of data for the Big Ten Conference. Team test positivity rate and population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine recommendations for continuing practice and competition.

The Big Ten Conference says they will use data provided by each Chief Infection Officer (CInO) to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition, as determined by team positivity rate and population positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average:

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
    • Green 0-2%
    • Orange 2-5%
    • Red >5%
  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
    • Green 0-3.5%
    • Orange 3.5-7.5%
    • Red >7.5%

The Big Ten released decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.

Back in August, the conference voted to postpone fall sports.

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Associated Press

Emilia Miles

Emilia Miles joined Fort Wayne’s NBC in September 2019 as a Social Media and Digital Content Manager. Emilia also serves as a producer. She’s a Fort Wayne native and graduated from Indiana University.

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