The Big 12 announced on Wednesday that the conference intends to play fall sports. The release comes after the Big 12 Board of Directors met on Tuesday evening and “agreed to proceed with plans for the fall sports’ seasons.”
The Big 12 sponsors women’s soccer among the fall sports.
“Big 12 members have committed to enhanced COVID-19 testing that includes three tests per week in ‘high contact’ sports like football, volleyball, and soccer. Additionally, return to play protocols after positive occurrences will include an EKG, troponin blood test, echocadriogram, and cardiac MRI.”
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby explained why the conference is moving forward with fall sports on the heels of the announcements from the Pac-12 and Big Ten earlier in the week.
“Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we’ve seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions’ ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Bowlsby said. “We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19. Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome.”
The announcement on Wednesday included the football schedule for the fall, but did not mention the soccer schedule. Big 12 is permitting competition after September 1, but teams are only permitted to play against conference opponents.