The Big Ten has officially joined the rest of college football with a forfeiture policy that will call for a team unable to field a team due to COVID policies being charged with a loss. The conference announced Monday that forfeited games will not be rescheduled. If both teams are unable to play due to COVID, the game will be declared a no-contest and will not be rescheduled.
The policy is similar to those being implemented across the five major conferences.
“Our medical task force meets twice a week and everything is subject to change right now,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey told The Athletic last week. “Our athletics directors will continue to discuss the COVID roster policies, particularly my reference that, ‘Be ready, be healthy to play, if you’re unable to field a team. that would be deemed a forfeit.’ We’ll have to finalize that one before the start of the season.”
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 23, 2021
In the ACC, the rule will be a little different from the Big Ten. If two ACC teams aren’t able to compete, both teams will be charged with a forfeited loss instead of a no contest.
That’s right, if you can’t field a team in the ACC, it’s going to be a loss.
“The ACC’s Medical Advisory Group continues its tireless efforts to deliver meaningful protocols that will provide a healthy and safe environment for our student-athletes and teams,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said last week. “As a conference, we are extremely proud of the significant progress and overall high rates of vaccination among student-athletes, coaches and staff. The continued resilience, commitment and sacrifice by our student-athletes is inspiring, and we look forward to watching them compete at the highest level.”
In 2020, under this current forfeiture policy, Ohio State would’ve been credited with a loss for canceling its November game against Illinois.
In early August, the NCAA issued its COVID-19 guidance on testing and tracing protocols. In that document, the NCAA states that players who are vaccinated will not be tested unless they’re symptomatic “or based on a risk assessment of a documented close contact with COVID-19.” Unvaccinated players will be tested three times a week during the week of competition.