The new look of COVID football

By Tatiania Perry

Big Ten sports were put on hold on August 11. 

Wednesday morning, the Big Ten announced that college football would be returning to the conference starting Oct. 23-24.

The conference’s plan includes mandatory daily testing for all coaches, players, trainers and assistants. 

Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus during daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction test to confirm the result of the oral test.

In order to return student-athletes will have to be evaluated for cardiac evaluation before returning. At a minimum, players will have to wait 21 days from the date of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis before rejoining the team.

The conference will use data provided by each appointed chief Infection Officer to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition.

According to the official Big Ten website, the team positivity rate and population positivity rate is based on a seven-day rolling average:

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
    • Green 0-2%
    • Orange 2-5%
    • Red >5%
  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
    • Green 0-3.5%
    • Orange 3.5-7.5%
    • Red >7.5%

Decisions that could alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.

The daily testing protocol should be in place no later that September 20.

Though nothing has been said about the remaining fall sports restarting, the Big Ten has said that eventually all Big Ten sports will require testing protocols before they can resume competition.

Tatiania Perry

I am a journalism graduate student. In my undergraduate at the University I had the privilege of working for The Daily Illini as an Assistant Sports Editor, interning for NBC Sports Group in the digital media department as and most recently I served as a digital intern for Illinois Public Newsroom and a Teaching Assistant for the College of Media. I chose to go into Journalism because I love the idea of telling the stories of those who would otherwise not be heard, being a voice to the voiceless.