Finances, Testing Weigh On Return-to-Play Decisions

Jason Scott Headshot

While the Big Ten’s return has garnered much media attention, other conferences are sticking to their guns — at least for now.

The Mid-American Conference became the first FBS conference to cancel its fall sports season, and despite the high-profile Big Ten reversal, appears committed to its plans not to play.

"Currently there are no plans to play a fall season in any sport," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. "We are focused on providing our fall student-athletes meaningful competitive experiences in the spring." 

Central Michigan Life reports that the decision to postpone has financial roots, because playing in the spring provides an increased likelihood of hosting events with fans, meaning those fans could buy tickets. 

Meanwhile, the Mountain West is seeking to return to play “at the earliest possible opportunity,” according to a statement by commissioner Craig Thompson. 

“Multiple subgroups within the Conference are working daily on solutions to the existing challenges in order to facilitate a return to play for Mountain West football, and other Conference sport programs, at the earliest possible opportunity,” Thompson’s statement reads.  “This includes finalizing a plan for frequent, rapid response testing and continuing to monitor the status of public health directives in our MW states and communities.”

Testing is an important part of the Big Ten’s return-to-play plans, which according to a conference announcement will require daily testing beginning on Sept. 30.

“The Big Ten 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 Big Ten said. “Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test.”

AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide