With Big 10’s surprise announcement, Rutgers football will return
The Big Ten Conference has reversed its course on preventing college football to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic, paving the return of Rutgers football to the gridiron.
It was a unanimous decision by the conference to allow football to return. Teams will reportedly play eight games in eight weeks starting the weekend of Oct. 24. No fans will be allowed to attend the games, but some families may be allowed.
The Big Ten says that it adopted significant medical protocols to allow play to resume, including daily testing and enhanced cardiac screening.
Rutgers University officials said in a statement that the school would take a week-to-week approach for practices and games, earning the praise of Gov. Phil Murphy.
“We’re going to look at our executive orders to make sure that we don’t need to tweak it to allow them to both receive traveling teams or make trips themselves. It’s got to be done safely. They said it better than I can, who doesn’t want to get back to seeing football,” Murphy said. “Count me at the top of that list.”
There was an outbreak of COVID-19 at the voluntary summer Rutgers football practices. Head Coach Greg Schiano said that about 30 Rutgers players and staff tested positive for the virus. With the new procedures in place, if a student athlete tests positive for the virus, the earliest they can return to game competition is 21 days after diagnosis.
The Big Ten says that it will announce the status of other fall sports at a later date.