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MSU athletic director foresees challenges in return to Big Ten football

Spartan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Michigan State University’s athletic director says it's “probably inevitable” that one or more Big Ten teams won’t be able to play a week or more during the conference’s 2020 football season.

This week, the Big Ten reversed its decision to suspend its football season amid concerns about COVID-19. 

The conference will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. The daily testing will begin by September 30.  

The Big Ten Conference will use data to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition, as determined by team positivity rate and population positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average.

Bill Beekman is MSU’s athletic director. He admits, despite precautions, players will likely test positive for COVD-19.

“It’s probably inevitable that of the 14 teams there will be a time when one or more teams can’t play for a week or more,” says Beekman. “And we haven’t work through as a conference all the details of what that will mean.”

The Big Ten football season will start the weekend of October 24 and ending in mid-December.    

Talking to reporters Wednesday, Beekman said it’s up to players and coaching staff to follow the rules.

“We need to be responsible,” says Beekman. “And if we’re responsible then we’ll be able to field a team and play the games. And if we’re not, we won’t.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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