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Report: Big 12 to continue working toward fall football season

Report: Big 12 to continue working toward fall football season

Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) gets hit by Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Emmanuel Beal (14) after throwing a pass during the NCAA football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, September 9, 2017. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

The Big 12 Conference will continue pursuit of a fall football season, sources told SoonerScoop on Tuesday night.

The Big 12 Conference presidents and chancellors approved the plans during a scheduled meeting on Tuesday, SoonerScoop reported. The 10-school league is believed to have heard from medical advisors about the possibility of proceeding forward.

There were also multiple reports that the Big 12 could release its fall schedule on Tuesday night. 

Meanwhile, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have voted to postpone the 2020 season with hopes of playing in the spring.

In a statement, the Big Ten said it relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

Oklahoma has taken a week off of practice with a goal of reporting back Friday. The players will undergo Covid-19 testing and then resume fall camp.

Oklahoma State held a Tuesday morning practice, but has postponed all media availability with coaches and players.

The American Athletic Conference, which includes Tulsa, is expected to maintain its playing schedule this fall, according to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.

The Golden Hurricane enjoyed its first day off from fall camp Tuesday, but will resume with its fifth practice Wednesday.

Any reminder of the importance of football in Oklahoma goes back to a May interview with Gov. Kevin Stitt. He was asked by Clay Travis about how important the return of sports is to a sense of normalcy.

“I think it’s huge … we love the Sooners, we love the Cowboys … from an economic standpoint, college football is a huge economic drive,” Stitt said.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey tweeted that the best advice he’s received since the start of Covid-19 is “be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new and you’ll gain better information each day.”

Sankey said his conference has been deliberate at each step since March.

“Can we play?” he said via Twitter. “I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and care of student athletes every day and will continue to do so every day.”

The ACC’s chairperson of its medical advisory group said a fall season can be played safely.

In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Dr. Cameron Wolfe said they believe the virus can be mitigated down to a level that makes everyone safe.

"Can we safely have two teams meet on the field? I would say yes. Will it be tough? Yes. Will it be expensive and hard and lots of work? For sure,” said Wolfe, a Duke infectious disease specialist. “But I do believe you can sufficiently mitigate the risk of bringing COVID onto the football field or into the training room at a level that's no different than living as a student on campus."

President Donald Trump tweeted his support for college football Monday. On Tuesday, he did an interview with reporter Clay Travis and discussed the players, saying they are great people and they just want to play the sport.

“One of the great doctors said these people are so powerful and so strong and not lots of body fat … maybe none in some cases and they’re very healthy people,” Trump said. “People don’t realize it’s a tiny percentage of people that get sick. They’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with a bad heart, diabetes or some kind of a physical problem, a weight problem.”

The President later added, “these football players are very young, strong people physically. They are physically in extraordinary shape. So they’re not going to have a problem … could it happen? But I doubt it.”

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Eric Bailey


Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

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