Interactive: COVID-19 testing data from Big Ten athletic departments

The Big Ten Conference announced July 9 the move to conference-only schedules for the 2020 fall seasons. The DI took a look at COVID-19 testing data from the 14 Big Ten athletic departments. Click on an icon for more information.



Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren addresses reporters regarding the cancellation of the 2020 Big Ten men's basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

The Big Ten Conference took a major step in preparing for the fall athletic schedule by announcing on July 9 that if sports can be played in the fall based on medical advice, it will move to conference-only schedules in those sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move still leaves a lot of questions surrounding how sports will look in the Big Ten in the fall and if seasons will even be played.

By limiting competition to only other Big Ten schools, the conference said in a statement that it will have the “greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”

Almost every Big Ten school started voluntary athletic workouts between June 8-15. Nebraska and Northwestern were outliers. The Cornhuskers brought its football, volleyball, soccer, and men’s and women’s basketball programs back June 1. The Wildcat football team started voluntary workouts June 22.

RELATED: Big Ten announces conference-only schedules for fall sports

Often, football teams were the first programs brought back by Big Ten schools, and other programs were phased in at a later time.

The 14 Big Ten athletics departments have all been conducting COVID-19 tests with student-athletes, coaches, and staff members back on campus.

Interactive: COVID-19 testing around the Big Ten

Interactive by Kelsey Harrell/The Daily Iowan

Ohio State and Maryland have both suspended voluntary workouts in the past week after receiving COVID-19 testing data.

The Iowa athletics department announced Monday that, as part of its most recent screenings, it conducted 30 COVID-19 tests for the week of July 6-12 and received four positive tests and 26 negative tests. As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, testing began May 29 and includes student-athletes, coaches, and staff. A total of 25 positive tests and 418 negative tests have been received.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren appeared on the Big Ten Network following the scheduling announcement and called the move the next logical step for the conference. He said more scheduling information will be announced in the coming weeks.

RELATED: Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren calls moving to conference-only fall seasons the ‘next logical step’

Warren added that he’s still concerned about the ability for a season to take place.

“We may not have sports in the fall,” Warren said on BTN. “We may not have a college football season in the Big Ten.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey expressed similar concern July 11 on the Marty & McGee show on ESPN Radio. Sankey said his concern for the upcoming college football season was “high to very high.”

“We are running out of time to correct and get things right,” Sankey said on ESPN Radio. “And as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be.”

A day before the Big Ten announced its decision, the Ivy League announced that it would not play fall sports in 2020 due to the pandemic.

On July 10, the Pac-12 followed the Big Ten’s lead and also announced a move to conference-only fall sports schedules. According to ESPN, the ACC, Big 12, and SEC are likely to wait until the end of July to announce a decision on fall scheduling.

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