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Big Ten is going to give fall football a shot after all.

Less than five weeks after pushing football and other fall sports to spring in the name of player safety during the pandemic, the conference changed course Wednesday and said it plans to begin its season the weekend of Oct. 24. Each team will have an eight-game schedule.

The Big Ten said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to restart sports. The emergence of daily rapid-response COVID-19 testing, not available when university presidents and chancellors decided to pull the plug on the season, helped trigger a re-vote.

The Pac-12 recently announced a partnership with a diagnostic lab that will give the conference’s schools the capacity to test athletes daily. The Big Ten believes it can do the same and that it is a game-changer.

The move came amid sharp pressure from coaches, a lawsuit from players and pressure from parents and even President Donald Trump pushing for a Big Ten football season. The conference is home to a number of battleground states in the November election.

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Dustin Johnsons U.S. Open prep begins off the course

Dustin Johnson and trainer “Joey D” have developed a fitness routine designed to peak for major chammpionships

Watching Dustin Johnson stride across a golf course, looking calm, cool, and without a care in the world, you could be mistaken in thinking his success—23 PGA Tour wins, a major championship, FedEx Cup title, and 95 weeks at World No. 1—came about naturally, the result of his gifted athleticism. But it’s no accident.

“Dustin has been very, very aware of what nutrition means for recovery and absorption,” Joey D says. “A lot of people eat because they enjoy it. Athletes, when you’re like Dustin, although he does enjoy certain meals, he understands now the benefit of what you’re eating and how the body absorbs it so you can recover and have a better performance the following day.”

Joey D is 55. He’s worked with the game’s top golfers, from Johnson to Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler, for more than 20 years. While he works exclusively with Johnson now, players like Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods still train at his Florida academy.

He’s seen a significant shift in how golfers treat the fitness and nutrition aspects of their games. “I think players aren’t afraid anymore,” he says. “I think there was a fear factor when I started 20 years ago. Everybody was like, no, baseball players and golfers can’t lift weights because you’re going to get muscle-bound. This term that the general public used but didn’t understand.”

“You see the physical training that has really evolved into the evolution of the modern-day athlete. And I think golfers are no longer afraid to be known as athletes.”

So while Johnson has been blessed with the physical gifts that allow him to drive a golf ball 320 yards down the middle of the fairway, he didn’t get to his elevated status in the game by luck alone. Getting ready for a major championship is hard work, and for Johnson and the other top players, it’s work well worth the reward.

Next: Justin Thomas tames Winged Foot in 1st round of U.S. Open

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