ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A sense of normalcy is returning to Michigan college campuses amid the Big Ten’s decision to reinstate the fall football season.
College students were more than disappointed in the conference’s August decision to postpone the fall football season due to health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic -- affecting plans for conference member schools Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.
The decision not to play hit especially hard at the University of Michigan, where fall football has been a century-long tradition -- the team even played five games during the 1918 Spanish Flu.
Now, students are happy to hear that the season they thought they’d lost is actually here to stay. A number of students at the University of Michigan told Local 4 that even though the season will look different from the rest, they cannot wait for fall football to start.
U-M football’s current trademark is the unbridled passion that coach Jim Harbaugh brings to the field, which he played on for Bo Schembeckler.
“Great news today,” Harbaugh wrote in a statement on Wednesday. "Over the past month, I could sense the anticipation from our players and coaches, and I’m thrilled on their behalf that they will have a chance to play a 2020 season.
“Stay positive, test negative. Let’s play football," Harbaugh added.
Harbaugh was the first of many coaches to lash out publicly against the decision, citing the team’s successful coronavirus safety protocols.
It took several weeks, but Harbaugh has gotten his wish. Michigan and the 13 other members of the Big Ten Conference will take the field next month, six weeks after teams from the ACC, SEC and Big 12 kicked off their 2020 seasons.
Big Ten games are scheduled to begin Oct. 23-24 with safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.