Reports: Big Ten approves plans for fall football season

Local News

Conflicting information about the Big Ten's return continues to circulate

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Big Ten has approved plans to begin a fall football season as early as mid-October, according to several published reports.

Sources told WLNS-TV that games are anticipated to start around October 17.

This is subject to change, but sources told the station that practice would likely start within the next two weeks.

The season would include 8 games, with the 2 top teams in each division playing one another for the Big Ten Championship.

Wednesday morning, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported an October 24 start to the season.

It’s unclear whether fans will be allowed to attend games, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

This morning, the President of the University of Nebraska was speaking at a news conference when he was recorded saying the Big Ten would announce its plan for football tonight. He was unaware he was being recorded and later told reporters his comments were taken out of context.

“When there is any news to share or confirm regarding any Big Ten board decision, it will be announced by the Big Ten,” University of Nebraska spokeswoman Deb Fiddelke said.

Big Ten presidents met Sunday to discuss the latest in medical protocols and testing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Today, University of Wisconsin President Rebecca Blank spoke to a Senate subcommittee on college athlete compensation and said the league’s stance will not change until leaders are more confident they can keep their athletes safe.

“There were several main reasons for that,” Blank said. “One was that we were uncertain we could do the level of testing and contact tracing that we needed to keep athletes safe. Secondly, there was this growing evidence about heart-related myocarditis and that evidence was uncertain and it wasn’t clear what it means and we wanted to know more. There were a few other minor reasons.”

She would not predict which way a vote to return to play would go.

“Decisions within the Big Ten are largely majority based decisions, but I’ll be honest, we almost always decide everything by consensus. We very rarely take votes,” Blank said.

The Big Ten confirmed weeks ago that league presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone fall sports this year.

Ohio State President Dr. Kristina Johnson was one of three presidents that voted in favor of playing fall sports. The presidents at Iowa and Nebraska also voted in favor of playing fall sports.

Ohio State Senator Matt Huffman announced Tuesday he is introducing a new resolution in the Ohio Senate asking the conference to reconsider its decision to postpone fall sports.

Two of Ohio State’s most highly-regraded players have announced they will opt out of a football season as they prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Monday morning, OSU cornerback Shaun Wade announced he will forego playing for the Buckeyes and prepare for the NFL. He later told NBC4’s Kristine Varkony he would reconsider if the conference came out with a plan to play football soon.

Wade joins offensive lineman and fellow All-American Wyatt Davis in opting out of a season. Davis announced his decision this past Friday. Quarterback Justin Fields remains at OSU and is projected as a top 5 pick next year.

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