If the theme of this frustrating Big Ten summer had already been defined, she was waiting. Waiting for news about the fate of the season. I am waiting for answers from the frozen conference office. And finally waiting for news of change.
The wait was finally over on Wednesday morning. When sources at Yahoo Sports confirmed that the Big Ten will play in 2020. In the fall, the conference made it official. The league is scheduled to begin the season on October 24, which plans to release both a conference title game and a potential venue for the College Football Playoff.
“For the past six weeks, our team has been working to ensure the health and safety of our student athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so that all student athletes can make their dream of participating in their favorite sports a reality, ”Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a conference statement. “We are extremely grateful for the collaboration of our Return to Competition team to ensure the health, safety and health of athletes, coaches and administrators.”
The decision is expected since the G20 presidential and chancellors’ council (COPC) met on Sunday night as optimism permeated the league. But as the days went by and the information evaporated, the league’s coaches and administrators were frozen.
At the same time, in the usual fashion of the Big Ten during this most dirty summer, it was amazing and not at all surprising when the news was announced through a hot microphone by Nebraska President Ted Carter.
Sources told Yahoo that several league programs have met with their players in recent days and set out a plan for how they will train and be ready to play by the October date, which is reported in the media. However, they warned that the plan depended on the votes of the Big Ten COPC. This finally happened as the league’s coaching staff waited two smoke days for smoke signals from the Big Ten office.
Wednesday’s news came out more than a month after the same COPC group voted 11-3 to postpone the fall season. The conference doubled, almost a week later, when Warren said the COPC in the Big Ten “largely supports the postponement of autumn sports and will not be viewed.”
The Big Ten was the first major conference to decide to postpone the fall, and it is now the first. The Pac-12 have postponed the top ten, but have no plans to return to the field as the situations in California and Oregon prevent these teams from training. Currently, three of the 10 FBS conferences will not be played this fall – MAC, Pac-12 and Mountain West.
From Sunday’s COPC meeting to today’s announcement, detailed final details, answers to last-minute questions, and the belief that change notifications were better than initial announcements were postponed. When the Big Ten first announced their decision, Warren was scrutinized for not sharing enough details.
What has changed in less than five weeks? Medical advances, fan blows, political pressure, and the successful start of the college football season elsewhere, especially in leagues like ACC, have merged. Sources said the daily quick test that led to the successful launch of the NFL will be used during the Big Ten and will be a key part of the league’s announcements as to why it is moving forward.
In a COPC invitation on Sunday, sources at Yahoo Sports said three different leagues for the league’s return to the competition team – medicine, schedule and television – had been officially presented to all 14 of the G8 presidents and chancellors. The most important medical voice was Ohio State Chief Physician Dr. Jim Borchers, Chairman of the Return to Competition Team. The presentation is said to have been comprehensive and set out a clear account of why the league was more prepared to play than on 11 August.
“Everyone in the top ten should be very proud of the innovative steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of students who play sports and the surrounding communities,” Borchers said in a conference report.
“The data we intend to collect from the Research and Heart Registry will be a significant contribution to all 14 Big Ten institutions as they research COVID-19 and try to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”
The league decided to go back in steps. An important step was to lay the foundation for Sunday’s meeting on Saturday. Eight presidents and chancellors of the league – a group called the Steering Committee for Returning to the Competition Working Group – have heard a report on medical progress since the first Big Ten vote. They agreed to put 14 presidents and chancellors to the vote.
The Big Ten is expected to reveal new information about myocarditis selection, along with daily rapid testing and ways to ease contract searches, and the league can safely test for myocarditis after positive tests.
The question now is about the ability of schools to prepare their team to play. Physically preparing for the season is what makes it very difficult for Big Ten coaches. One of the league’s schools, Wisconsin, has been suspended due to COVID-19 issues. Two more schools, Maryland and Iowa, have just returned from a break.
How quickly these schools could be ready to play was a threatening question, especially when the league tried to return to participate in the College football playoffs. Wisconsin sports director Barry Alvarez said Wisconsin should be ready to play, even if they don’t start practicing again by Sept. 24, as scheduled.
“[Coach Paul Chryst] “I’m on the same page,” Alvarez told Yahoo Sports on Saturday night. “We can prepare our guys. We could prepare the team in three weeks. We feel comfortable. “
The big ten reached a point when they discussed return. Following Warren’s ruling on August 11th. And immediately after the poor arguments, the Big Ten offices were silent for more than a week. Warren then said the decision would not be reviewed after eight days.
Around that time, the pressure started from all sides – players, parents, coaches, sports directors, fans, television partners and politicians. Many felt the Top Ten was in a hurry to make a decision, especially with a nimble schedule that would allow them to recover games and even cancel all weeks to accommodate the seasonal COVID-19-related disruptions.
After a month – and after a lot of waiting – the Big Ten is back on track.
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