The first major college football Saturday is set to kickoff with ACC and Big 12 action. The Big Ten remains sidelined at the moment, but the medical subcommittee is working towards getting teams back on the field.
The Big Ten subcommittee is made up of medical experts and athletic directors. They are prepared to present new testing programs to a subcommittee of presidents and chancellors on Saturday, ESPN reported. These tests include four rapid response antigen tests that could have teams test daily and decrease the amount of necessary contact tracing.
So what does this mean?
If the subcommittee of presidents and chancellors approve the proposal, then there will be another vote to restart the season. We are officially over a month since the Big Ten decided to postpone their fall season on August 11. The vote was 11-3 with only Nebraska, Ohio State, and Iowa electing to play in the fall. Since that Tuesday afternoon, there has been no consistency.
“When I think I have an answer, the next day, there’s a whole different discussion,” a Big Ten source told ESPN. “That’s why it’s been so hard, and everyone’s so frustrated. You’ve got 14 guys, and everyone wants what’s best for them. That’s where you need someone to stand up an say, ‘No, this is what we’re going to do.’”
Ultimately, with more and more teams kicking off, the pressure keeps building on the Big Ten every week. But how could it look when they return? There have been rumors flying all over the place. Ohio State’s Ryan Day and Penn State’ James Franklin have been vocal in criticizing the Big Ten for their decision. On the other hand, a restart without Michigan and Michigan State have been put into the air.
The Big Ten will need nine yes votes to move forward with a restart. If they get the votes, there is a strong possibility that some teams remain inactive. Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway recently spoke out in favor of the decision to postpone the season.
“If I’m wrong because I was erring on the side of safety, I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think I’m wrong, though,” Holloway told Steve Politi of NJ Advance Media. “I just don’t think it. And if I had to put money down, we’re going to see some radical changes within a month — no later than October. I’m really worried about what we’re heading toward, on just college campuses in general, not just sports. It’s deeply concerning.”
Holloway strongly reaffirmed the decision made by the conference. If this proposal is approved, it seems as though Holloway will not change his vote to restart the season. Remember, the lack of rapid testing was a huge dealbreaker for the Big Ten when making their final decision. It will be interesting to see if the medical subcommittee is able to sway opinions by finding rapid testing options.
“We want to make sure all of these [testing] possibilities can deliver,” another Big Ten source told ESPN. “It’s light years different than it was five weeks ago.”