The decision Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said would not be revisited — is about to be revisited.
Multiple reports throughout the week have indicated that the league’s presidents and chancellors could vote again on whether or not to play fall sports including football as soon as Sunday.
Before that vote can occur, the Big Ten medical subcommittee – comprised of medical experts and athletic directors – will present a subcommittee of eight of the conference’s presidents and chancellors with rapid coronavirus testing options and other advancements since their vote to postpone the season five weeks ago.
This is how ESPN described what is expected to occur on Saturday:
“The Big Ten subcommittee, which is comprised of medical experts and athletic directors, will show eight of the 14 presidents and chancellors at least four rapid response antigen tests now on the market that could allow teams to test daily and significantly decrease the amount of necessary contact tracing.”
Reporting on the air for FOX on Saturday morning, Bruce Feldman indicated that the outlook for Big Ten football is more optimistic now than it has been at any time since the postponement.
"I think there's more optimism now on the Big Ten front than there's been in a long time."@BruceFeldmanCFB gives an update on the Big Ten's potential return this fall ⬇️ #BigNoonKickoff pic.twitter.com/iGUC3M8wLq
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 12, 2020
If Saturday’s presentation leads to an approval by the subcommittee of presidents and chancellors, a followup meeting with the entire board of presidents and chancellors could be held as soon as Sunday according to Feldman’s report.
That vote could be delayed if the medical subcommittee requests further data before proceeding. (UPDATE: The presentation to the subcommittee is complete and a new full vote by the presidents and chancellors is now expected.)
It isn’t clear where things will stand by the end of the weekend. Any vote by the league’s presidents and chancellors is likely to be a close call.
The initial vote went 11-3 in favor of postponing the season. Although some reports indicated a 60 percent threshold (and thus 9 votes) was required, a league response to a Nebraska players’ lawsuit indicated that only a majority vote was needed to postpone the season. Accordingly, eight votes are needed to reverse course and now approve playing a season.
How will it go? Of course no one knows what is in the hearts and minds of the 14 Big Ten presidents and chancellors.
But as many power five programs start their seasons today, we should at least learn if Big Ten football still has a chance.
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