Big Ten football to return in October. Strong reaction came from White House, Twitter

TJ Macias
·3 min read

The Big Ten reversed its original decision to forgo the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, it announced Wednesday.

The conference will kick off its season the weekend of Oct. 24 after the league’s presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to resume competition, a news release from the conference says. Teams will attempt to play eight games in eight weeks.

“Great news today. Over the past month, I could sense the anticipation from our players and coaches, and I’m thrilled on their behalf that they will have a chance to play a 2020 season. Stay positive. Test negative. Let’s play football,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday in a statement, ESPN reported.

Social media reacted strongly to the decision.

President Donald Trump also commented, appearing to take credit for the decision with the presidential election looming in November.

Trump had pushed for the Big Ten to reverse its original stance over the past month.

The Big Ten will have a daily rapid testing program that will start Sept. 30 on all 14 campuses with the results having to be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game, ESPN reported. This drew questions and negative reactions from those openly wondering if that would be offered to everyone, not just student-athletes.

Players who test positive for COVID must “wait at least 21 days to return to competition,” ESPN reported. During that time, they will undergo “comprehensive cardiac testing,” before they can be cleared by a cardiologist.

The Big Ten is joining the ACC, Big 12 and SEC in playing this fall season. The Pac-12 is the lone remaining Power 5 conference to hold out on fall sports. It has not announced plans on if or when it might follow the Big Ten’s path.