Since Aug. 11, the fateful day when the Big Ten decided to cancel all fall sports, there has been a massive outcry of displeasure from fans, parents, coaches and players.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren’s decision to cancel fall sports. Since that day, there have been petitions, protests at the Big Ten’s headquarters and marches led by teams on campus.
It seems as if these acts have finally caught the attention of the Big Ten, as the conference is rumored to have finalized a plan to begin playing football Oct. 17.
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Over the last few days, a point of emphasis for the Big Ten Conference has been unity. UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank believes that the conference must make this decision together.
“We’re continuing to look at those proposals. I’m not going to say anything more about it at this point,” Blank said in a Sept. 14 Madison.com article. “I will say we’re all going to move together in the Big Ten. We’re all going to play or not if we possibly can. This isn’t going to be a school by school thing.”
During the initial vote back in August, Blank was one of the representatives who voted “no” to the plans for a season. Blank’s approval carries more weight considering the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Madison.
The recent surge in cases has led to a full quarantine in the two biggest dorms on campus. Blank ratifying the plans for a football season not only means she believes the protocols for football are solid but also believes the measures put into place on campus are safe and effective.
It is important to note there has been no official announcement by the Big Ten, Blank, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez or any other person connected to the conference or the university.
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Badger fans should be optimistic that football is returning this fall. Even if it isn’t in the normal capacity, just seeing the Badgers on the field at Camp Randall is a step in the right direction.
Expect an official announcement from Warren later this week outlining the conference’s plans for a football season.
As of right now, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the fall sports season. But as plans are finalized, The Badger Herald will have a full report on the Big Ten’s return to football.