Rutgers and Big Ten football to return in October

Sep 16, 2020

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The Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday that the football season, including teams such as Rutgers and Penn State, will resume in October.

The conference’s council of presidents and chancellors made the unanimous decision after it adopted “significant medical protocols” to include daily antigen tests and enhanced cardiac screening.

Athletes, coaches, trainers and others who are on the field for practices and games must be tested daily. The results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. The conference said testing will begin by Sept. 30.

Rutgers released a statement that in part said the university would decide each week whether to go ahead with a game.

"Assessments of the conditions at Rutgers, as well as those for each opponent, will be made regarding all upcoming games. Individual universities may suspend the return to competition on a week-to-week basis if they or their scheduled opponents are experiencing significant negative changes among players and staff or within the broader university community,” it read.

Gov. Murphy praised the school for its approach.

“[It’s] gotta be done safely; they said it better than I can,” he said “Who doesn’t want to get back to seeing football; count me at the top of that list.”

The governor said that he would look at his executive orders to see if they need to “tweak” any to allow for opponents to come to New Jersey or to let the Rutgers team travel.

The conference suspended all football sports including football on Aug. 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights suspended all football activities about a couple of weeks prior to the Big Ten. At the time of the Rutgers announcement, ten team members tested positive for COVID-19.

President Donald Trump praised the return of football in the Big Ten in a tweet.