Big 12 officially announces it is moving forward with fall football

Big 12 officially announces it is moving forward with fall football
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby

IRVING, Texas (WAFB) - Going against what the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided on Tuesday, August 11, presidents in the Big 12 will continue to try to have a fall college football season.

The conference officially announced its plans Wednesday morning.

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“The Board continues to believe that the health and well-being of our student-athletes must guide all decisions,” commented Board of Directors Chairman and TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini. “To that end the Board has consistently relied on the advice and counsel of top medical experts to determine the viability of available options. Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the Board’s collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being. We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course.”

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The conference also released its revised 2020 conference football schedule. The “9+1” scheduling model (nine conference game and a non-conference contest). Conference play will start on September 26.

Officials said all non-conference games must be played before September 26 and the match-ups will be announced by each school. They added stadium capacities will also be determined by each university in accordance with health guidelines for the area.

Officials reported each team will have a minimum of two bye dates and potentially a third bye late in the season. They added the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game is tentatively scheduled for December 12.

The Big 12 said its members have committed to enhanced COVID-19 testing that includes three tests per week in “high contact” sports, like football, volleyball, and soccer. It added protocols after a positive test result will include an EKG, troponin blood test, echocardiogram, and cardiac MRI before players can return to competition. Non-conference football opponents must also adhere to COVID-19 testing protocols that conform to Big 12 standards during the week leading up to competition, the league stated.

The Big Ten became the first Power Five conference to decide not to play this fall because of health safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a few hours later, the Pac-12 made a similar announcement.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement via Twitter following the announcements by the Big Ten and Pac-12 to postpone football until the spring. Tuesday morning, Sankey told the “Dan Patrick Show” that the conference’s medical advisory group has given the SEC presidents permission to move forward with preparing for the college football season this fall.

An ACC official told CBS Sports on Monday that the conference “absolutely” intends on playing this fall. The comment from a high-ranking source within the league came after an ACC conference call with athletic directors and a similar call involving university presidents.

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