Big Ten teams that miss conference games because of COVID will be charged with forfeit

Forfeiting teams will be charged with ‘loss’ in standings; opponent will receive ‘win’

The Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before an NCAA college football game. (Charlie Neibergall, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Big Ten teams that miss conference games because of COVID will be charged with a forfeit and a loss this season, the conference announced.

“If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition shall be considered a forfeit by the team unable to participate and shall not be rescheduled,” Big Ten officials said.

Last season, if a team couldn’t play because of a COVID outbreak, the game was simply skipped. Now that vaccinations are available, the conference is putting pressure on teams to take strict precautions and make sure games get played on their scheduled dates.

The decision was made in collaboration with the league’s athletic directors, chancellors and presidents, as well as experts from the conference, according to the Big Ten announcement.

If both teams scheduled to play on a given day can’t participate because of COVID, and the game can’t be rescheduled, it will be declared a “no contest,” officials said.

For competitions involving three or more teams, any team that can’t participate because of COVID will have to forfeit, and each of its opponents will get a win in the standings, according to the conference.

This policy was adopted and went into effect Friday (Aug. 20) for all sports, the announcement states.

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