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Big Ten teams with COVID outbreaks will 'forfeit' games under new rule


Big Ten schools with a COVID-19 outbreak this fall might be sacked for a loss.

COVID-19 remains an opponent on and off the playing field.   

But the Big Ten says if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled.

That means the team with the outbreak will get a loss on its record, while its opponent will get a win in the conference standings.

If both teams are unable to participate due to COVID-19, the competition shall be considered a “no contest.”

The new policy was developed in collaboration with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee

It’s a policy similar to one announced recently by the National Football League.

This could benefit schools like the University of Michigan and Michigan State University which have mandatory vaccine policies in place.  It could be a problem for Ohio State and Penn State which do not.

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.