The Big 12 Conference has decided to move ahead with fall sports and released the conference football schedule on Wednesday morning.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby released a statement that read, “ultimately our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it’s up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome.”
The Big 12 Board of Directors came to the agreement on Tuesday evening and announced updated safety and health protocols for student-athletes.
“Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the Board’s collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being,” the board said in a statement. “We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course.”
Big 12 members have also committed to enhanced COVID-19 testing that includes three tests per week in “high contact” sports, like football, volleyball and soccer.
The conference announced a return to play protocol for a student-athlete that tests positive will include an EKG, troponin blood test, echocardiogram and cardiac MRI.
Conference play will start on Sept. 26 with the Big 12 championship game tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12 in Dallas.
The league will allow one non-conference game for each member and have a minimum of two bye dates during the season.
Texas will open its conference schedule at Texas Tech followed by TCU in Austin.
The Longhorns traditional Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the Cotton Bowl.
Texas also hosts Baylor on Oct. 24 and wraps up with a road game at Kansas State on Dec. 12. The full schedule is embedded below.
The league announced stadium capacities will be determined by each member institution in accordance with local and/or state health ordinances.
The Big 12 news comes a day after the Big 10 and Pac-12 decided to postpone the fall football season and attempt to play in the spring.
The Mountain West Conference and Mid-American Conference have also canceled fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.