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In a reversal of its decision to cancel its 2020 U.S. college football schedule due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Ten Athletic Conference on Wednesday announced plans to resume play in October. 

In a statement posted on its website, the conference said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of Oct.

23, 2020. Last month, the collection of colleges and universities voted 11-3 to postpone the season, with The Ohio State University, University of Iowa and University of Nebraska voting against. 

The conference said 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 Big Ten said it will begin daily antigen testing of its athletes, coaches and staff on Sept. 30. 

FILE - Fans attend a protest, staged by parents of Ohio State football players, against the cancellation of the Big Ten Conference's football season due to coronavirus concerns, outside Ohio State's stadium in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 29, 2020.

Under the plan, team positivity rates and school population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine whether teams must halt practice or play. The earliest an athlete will be able to return to game competition would be 21 days following a COVID-19 positive diagnosis. 

Each team will play eight games in eight weeks and the conference championship game will be held Dec. 19 — if all goes well. That should give the Big Ten an opportunity to compete for the national championship. 

After the Big Ten's initial decision not to play this season, the league felt pressure from parents, coaches, athletes and politicians, including U.S. President Donald Trump, to resume its schedule.    

The athletic conference is made up of 14 institutions, most of which are in the Midwestern United States, a key "battleground" region in November's elections.  

Trump had been critical of the original decision not to play and, on his Twitter account Wednesday, expressed his pleasure at news of the reversal, even taking some credit for the decision, saying it was his "great honor to have helped."

Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. All teams to participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2020

 

News Source: Voice of America

Tags: the big ten the big ten

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Football League facing financial apocalypse with £20m lost a MONTH after Boris Johnson’s latest Covid-19 ban on fans

LOWER division clubs are facing financial apocalypse after Prime Minister Boris Johnson signalled fans may not be back in grounds all season.

The PM told the House of Commons that plans to re-open turnstiles from October 1 have been put on hold in the battle to hold back a deadly second wave of Covid-19.

4Lower league football teams have been left facing an uncertain future Credit: PA:Press Association

But his warning that the new measures are likely to be in place for “six months” or more left football on the brink of a catastrophic crisis.

EFL chairman Rick Parry has already stated that the 72 clubs anticipate a £200m black hole if crowds do not return.

That means £20m in lost income per month.

Championship clubs are slightly bolstered by receiving £7m per season in television and “solidarity” payments from the Premier League.

But the majority of clubs in Leagues One and Two shut down in March and have had no gate income since.

Parry fears that the fight to keep all 72 clubs going is reaching a critical stage and the latest announcement will make that even more stark.

The EFL chairman explained last week: “We do need rescue packages and we're hoping that by securing rescue packages, we can secure the future of our clubs.

“Our aim is to keep every single one of them alive.”

4EFL's plans for fans to return to stadiums from October 1 have been called offCredit: Getty Images - Getty Most read in EFLRevealedPLAYING AWAYArsenal fans most likely to cheat on partners but Man Utd followers no angelsPicturedIT'S PAUL OVERInside Scholes' £3.9m luxury home including football pitch after wife splitNOT O-KAYPrem confirm three more Covid cases ahead of Boris Johnson's announcement todayBEING FRANKChelsea target Edouard Mendy is 'far better' than Kepa, says Frank LeboeufHELPING HANDChelsea boss Lampard asks wife Christine for help with troubled playersSILVA LININGHow Chelsea could start against Barnsley with new boys Silva and Chilwell 4The wait goes on for football fans that are desperate to watch their team playCredit: PA:Press Association

Parry conceded in May that “cost controls” were necessary throughout the football pyramid, especially in the EFL.

He revealed to MPs that Championship wages represented 106 per cent of aggregate turnover, with the figures in Leagues One and Two “80 to 90 per cent” and that “tough, big decisions” were required.

Since then, clubs the two lower tiers have agreed salary caps of £2.5m in League One and £1.5m in League Two, although these have been challenged by the PFA.

But clubs were anticipating and relying on the return of fans to help them pay their way.

Last weekend saw seven pilot tests allowing up to 1,000 spectators at grounds across the three divisions.

With the extension of that scheme now stopped dead and the likelihood of the gates being barred for the rest of the season, the real danger of clubs going bust and folding has intensified.

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios admitted: “It’s not entirely a surprise, but it is going to be a devastating blow for an industry that’s already been really struggling.

“There were a lot of things that made the football industry unique and a lot of clubs were already having financial difficulties before this pandemic started and this may sadly tip some of them over the edge.”

Latest from Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister announced this afternoon

  • A 10pm curfew for all pubs and hospitality venues will come in from Thursday - where doors will have to be closed
  • And they will have to offer table service only - except for takeaway deliveries which can continue
  • Tougher enforcement powers for shutting down venues which don't force people to stay apart
  • The military could be called in by police to help enforce the new rules
  • People should work from home if they can - or if their workplace isn't covid-safe but MPs will stay in Parliament
  • Weddings are going to be slashed back from 30 down to 15 - but funerals will stay on the same rules
  • Facemasks will be made compulsory for staff in hospitality and close contact places - and taxis too
  • Team sports will be curbed inside, banning five-aside footie and other games
  • The return to live sport planned for October 1 now will not go ahead
  • Businesses will have a legal requirement to enforce the rule of six
  • The fines will DOUBLE for not wearing face masks to £200
  • As announced at the weekend, there will be fines for Brits who defy orders to isolate
4Fans had hoped to return to stadiums from October 1 onwardsCredit: Getty Images - Getty Michael Gove says govt is postponing return of fans to stadiums as he suggests it may have been wrong to stage events in early days of coronavirus

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