Big Ten undecided on potential forfeits related to COVID-19
A general view of the Big Ten logo prior to the game between the Buffalo Bulls and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.  Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten undecided on potential football forfeits related to COVID-19

The Southeastern Conference could have football teams forfeit this fall if unable to play a scheduled game because of absences and other issues related to COVID-19, while the Atlantic Coast Conference hasn't yet finalized protocols for such potential setbacks. 

It appears the Big Ten is following in the footsteps of the ACC heading into August. 

According to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren explained during Thursday's Media Day session that league presidents and chancellors agreed last month individual schools will first determine their own policies regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations among student-athletes.

"Our schools are finalizing their proposed policies and procedures for the fall," Warren said. "We'll get that information in early August, we'll combine it, and then we'll get together with our chancellors and presidents and other key constituents to make the determination as far as how we handle the fall. One of the things I did learn last year is that we're as methodical as possible, that we bring people together." 

Conference commissioners have encouraged players and others necessary for completing the upcoming college football season to get vaccinated, in part to dodge potential schedule disruptions and other problems linked with the virus that were unavoidable last fall when vaccines weren't readily available to adults. 

Information in a memo widely shared on Thursday shows the NFL is threatening to force forfeits and may even withhold pay if a team cannot play a game as scheduled this season because of a coronavirus outbreak among unvaccinated personnel. It's unclear if that update will impact decisions made by collegiate organizations such as the Big Ten. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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