Big Ten football is back

After pressure from student-athletes, parents, politicians and coaches, Big Ten football is returning in October after over a month of uncertainty regarding the return.

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A Gophers football player watches from the sidelines during a game on Sept. 16, 2017.

A.J. Condon, Sports Reporter

On Aug. 11, the presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten schools voted to postpone the college football season indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But on Wednesday, Big Ten presidents reversed course and voted to return to play. The vote was unanimous. The conference will play an eight game season starting the weekend of Oct. 23-24.

The Big Ten faced pressure from student-athletes, parents, politicians and coaches after its initial decision to postpone the fall season, saying the conference provided a lack of transparency in making its decision.

The Big Ten cited added protocols and information by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force as reasons for starting the season.

This past weekend, college football saw a number of FBS schools get their seasons underway with the SEC having its season kick off in under two weeks. With the Big Ten’s decision, the Pac-12 became the sole Power Five conference without a concrete fall plan.

The Gophers started their summer program getting ready for a fall season, but was halted when the season was canceled. Between June and Sept. 2, all of Gophers athletics had 43 positive test results in a sample of 1,406 COVID-19 tests.