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Big Ten to play football this season

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(NEW YORK) — The Big Ten will be playing college football this season after the Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to resume the season on the weekend of October 23 and 24. 

Each team will play an eight game schedule, but opponents have not been released. 

In the release announcing the decision, the conference said the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors adopted new health safety protocols, including daily testing for COVID-19, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data driven approach when making decisions on whether to practice or play. 

The conference orginally voted to postpone the season by a vote of 11-3 on August 11, according to ESPN. 

Every person around the team, including players, coaches and trainers will be tested daily. Players who test positive will be given a different second test to confirm they have the virus.

Players who test positive will be given thorough cardiac testing and will have to be cleared by a cardiologist designated by the university to return to play. The earliest a player could return would be 21 days following the positive test. 

Testing will begin by September 30. 

All universities will also have a Chief Infection officer, who will oversee testing and reporting of data to the conference. 

The Big Ten will use the data to determine whether a team needs to alter or stop practices and games.

Should a team have a postivity rate over 5% and a population positivity rate over 7.5%, based on a seven day rolling average, that team will be required to stop practice and competitions for at least 7 days.

All 14 schools in the Big Ten will also establish a cardiac registry to examine the effects of the coronavirus on student-athletes. 

The Big Ten’s decison to resume the season leaves the Pac-12 as the only Power Five conference to not be playing this year. The Big 12 and ACC have already started playing games with the SEC set to resume games on the weekend of the September 26. 

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