Big Ten schools change minds, vote to start football season in October

  • The Big Ten has voted to start their football season on October 24.
  • In August, the Big Ten, alongside the Pac-12, postponed their fall college football season, citing potential medical risks amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Big Ten's council of presidents and chancellors had been meeting for several days on whether the football season will begin and when.
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College football in the Big Ten will be back on October 24, as the schools have voted to start their season in the fall instead of waiting until the spring.

Out of the Power 5 conferences, the Big Ten, along with the Pac-12, postponed the fall football season in August. The conference cited concerns for health and medical risks amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, the Big Ten reversed their course and schools met over the weekend to revisit this decision voting to start the season in October. ESPN reported that sources said the Big Ten's council of presidents and chancellors met over the weekend to review medical information and vote on if and when the football season would begin. The medical subcommittee of the task force behind Big Ten's return to competition convened to discuss medical information, according to ESPN. 

Sources told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that rapid testing was an important factor leading the potential reconsideration. 

Colleges in the Big Ten have resumed with combinations of in-person and virtual learning. The University of Illinois, a member of the Big Ten, tests students so frequently it counts for 20 percent of all tests in Illinois. Yet still, the university had to implement a student lockdown after it saw over 700 cases on campus in less than two weeks since the first day of class, according to NPR. 

Meanwhile, students across the Big Ten have expressed concerns about health and safety on campus amid the coronavirus. Grad students, many of whom are teaching assistants, at the University of Michigan are striking against the university to demand stronger health guidelines on campus, according to the campus newspaper.

Protests also took place at the University of Wisconsin Madison where students recently demonstrated against the administration by placing gravestones in front of the dining halls as a total of over 1,900 students have tested positive so far, according to the university's dashboard. 

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