Big 12 athletics are moving forward the fall with intensified medical protocol, per media reports.
The Big 12 presidents’ decision is pivotal; there have been questions if the ACC and SEC would proceed without a third Power 5 conference’s involvement in the season.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they were canceling their fall sports seasons earlier on Tuesday.
Both leagues cited medical concerns brought on by COVID-19, even as they are opening their campuses up for the return of students.
The Pac-12 announced all sports training will cease through Dec 31, but there will be continued training in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said teams will get to stay on a 20-hour-per-week schedule without workouts and drills.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued the following statement on Tuesday after the Big Ten and Pac-12 made their decisions official:
“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today. I remain comfortable wit the thorough and deliberate approach ha the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for student-athletes.
“We will continue to further refine our polices and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day.”
The ACC also issued a statement on Tuesday in the aftermath of the Big Ten and Pac-12 shutdowns:
“The ACC will continue to make decisions based on medical advice, inclusive of our Medical Advisory Group, local and state health guidelines, and do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions.
The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administrated on our 15 campuses. We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well. We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves.”
Yahoo reporter Pete Thamel said the Big 12 will have more intensified testing for COVID-19.
Among the enhancements will be more cardiac testing should an athlete test positive.
Source: The Big 12 Presidents are wrapping up their call. The league is going to continue to pursue playing this season. A schedule, which was already prepared, will be released in the near future. This confirms what our @rivals friends at @SoonerScoop reported.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 12, 2020
ESPN is reporting a revised schedule is expected to be released soon, utilizing the previously released nine-game conference schedule plus one non-conference game.
The Big 12 start date, however, is expected to be pushed back to Sept. 26.
The SEC announced last week it was pushing back the start of its fall practices to Aug. 17, having opted for a 10-game league slate to begin on Sept. 26.