Report: Big Ten to play pandemic-era football this fall — 9/15/20

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The Big Ten conference plans to kickoff a pandemic-era football season this fall, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. 

“Sources told the Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that a proposal has been approved for the league to play its 2020 season this fall. The starting date is unclear, but the latest proposal submitted to the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors featured an Oct. 17 kickoff,” Jeff Potrykus reports. “Each team is to play eight games in a nine-week window, with the league title game tentatively set for Dec. 19.” 

The news comes as students are returning to Midwest campuses and increasingly spreading the coronavirus. That includes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where 2,160 students and 31 employees on an off campus had tested positive for the virus between Aug. 23 and Tuesday, according to the university’s dashboard.

The surge has prompted UW-Madison to switch to entirely online classes for at least two weeks, quarantine students in some dorms and cancel spring break.

Top Stories

Peter Thomson / La Crosse Tribune

Center campus is quiet Monday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where a 14-day quarantine of all dorms was put in effect Sunday to prevent further spread of COVID-19. In-person undergraduate classes will be suspended through Tuesday and resume online Wednesday.

Big Ten approves plan for 2020 football season this fall, possibly starting as early as Oct. 17Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Dane County bars and restaurants could be fined for violations of health orderWisconsin State Journal 

Emails show the meatpacking industry drafted an executive order to keep plants openProPublica 

La Crosse area students frustrated, but not surprised, as COVID-19 cases increaseLa Crosse Tribune 

Wisconsin urging residents to enroll in special enrollment for health insuranceNBC 26 

As COVID-19 cases surge, Gov. Tony Evers doesn’t rule out future statewide response, mask order extensionWisconsin State Journal 

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“These students are not going home … So this is not an issue that’s going to resolve itself by simply telling all students at the university to go home. This is their home. They’re paying rent. It’s where they are. The more interactions we have with them, the more we can work with them, I think in many ways, the better off we are. That’s why we made the choices we made.”

— UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, defending the campus’ reopening to in-person instruction, as quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal

“I’m here today to ask you, to encourage you, to beg you and to warn you: that if we do not take this more seriously and we do not follow the safety measures, we are at risk of not making it through the whole semester. We might need to go all-remote at some time. I sincerely hope not. … Please avoid gathering together. You cannot hold parties. You cannot attend parties. You just can’t do it.”

— UW-Whitewater interim Chancellor Greg Cook in a Facebook message to students 

Data to note

Here is a look at COVID-19 testing trends at UW-Madison, according to the university’s dashboard

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

‘We just needed some extra happiness this year’: Wisconsin farmer plants 2 million sunflowersMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Sheboygan’s Camp Evergreen adapts to COVID-19 pandemicSheboygan Press

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