I want to share my support for the Big Ten decision to begin football competition next month.
I join Athletic Director Warde Manuel and everyone at Michigan Athletics in offering appreciation for all the athletes and coaches, the fans and the families who have been preparing for the possibility of playing in the Big House this fall.
Earlier I expressed my concern, shared by my fellow Big Ten presidents and chancellors, that we just didn’t know enough about the health and safety concerns unique to intercollegiate athletics to move forward with practices and competition.
As has been so true during this pandemic, we continue to learn more every day and we have adjusted our approach based on the new information that was developed. I especially want to thank the health and safety officials from the Big Ten campuses who have carefully assessed the risk and developed a stringent plan – that will include daily COVID-19 testing – to mitigate those risks for our student-athletes, coaches and others. While this approach will start with football, our hope is to use this same approach to resume competition in other sports.
To our millions of fans worldwide, I again thank you for your understanding and your patience. Your support of our teams and our student-athletes is inspiring.
Mark S. Schlissel