Big Ten football kicks off Oct. 24; Ohio State to play Michigan on Dec. 12

The Big Ten Conference on Saturday announced its schedule for the 2020 college football season.

The 14 schools will begin a conference-only schedule Oct. 24 and games will run through Dec. 12. The Big Ten Championship Game will be played Dec. 19 between the top teams in the East and the West.

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One of the most intriguing matchups always on the schedule is between Ohio State and Michigan. That game will be Dec. 12 in Columbus, Ohio, and broadcast on FOX.

Earlier in the week, the Big Ten Conference announced it would resume the football season and put in place a slew of stringent medical protocols to combat the coronavirus.

“The Big Ten will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test,” the conference said in a news release.

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Each school will have a Chief Infection Officer to oversee the collection and reporting of tests. Each COVID-19 positive student-athlete will then need to “undergo comprehensive cardiac testing to include labs and biomarkers, ECG, Echocardiogram and a Cardiac MRI. Following cardiac evaluation, student-athletes must receive clearance from a cardiologist designated by the university for the primary purpose of cardiac clearance for COVID-19 positive student-athletes. The earliest a student-athlete can return to game competition is 21 days following a COVID-19 positive diagnosis.”

The athletes also will be placed into a cardiac registry as part of a study on how coronavirus affects the heart.

“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said.

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“We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”