COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Fall sports will return the weekend of Oct. 23-24 despite the coronavirus, the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors announced Wednesday. That means football is back for the University of Maryland Terrapins.

The Big Ten said it has adopted significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing for football players, coaches and staff that will keep everyone safe.

In a statement, the Big Ten said the council voted unanimously to bring football back for the fall season.

“The decision was based on information presented by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, a working group that was established by the COP/C and Commissioner Kevin Warren to ensure a collaborative and transparent process,” the statement said.

Maryland Terrapins Football Head Coach Michael Locksley praised the decision on Twitter Wednesday morning.

“I’m so happy for our players. They’ve been through a lot and stayed laser focused and committed on doing things the right way to earn the chance to compete on Saturday’s this fall,” he wrote.

Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh also weighed in on the decision on Wednesday.

“I also want to express congratulations to the Big Ten for setting their football programs free and allowing them to play football finally,” he told reporters. “A great decision and it’s going to be fun to watch Big Ten football very shortly.”

The Big Ten said teams will enhance cardiac screening and will use data when making decisions about practice or competitions.

“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee.

Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test.

“The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”

Learn more about the Big Ten’s process here.

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CBS Baltimore Staff

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