In conjunction with its release of a revised conference football schedule, the Big 12 Conference also announced Wednesday that it will continue with other fall sports such as volleyball, cross country and soccer this fall. The Big 12's Board of Directors agreed to the plan to proceed on Tuesday night.
According to the conference, athletes in sports like football, volleyball and soccer will be subject to three COVID-19 tests per week. If an athlete tests positive for the virus, return to action protocols will include an "EKG, troponin blood test, echocardiogram, and cardiac MRI."
“The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement Wednesday. “Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we’ve seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions’ ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes. We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19. Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome.”
The conference said all sports competitions will begin after Sept. 1. Volleyball and soccer matches will be against conference-only opponents. The Big 12 has yet to release regular season schedules for those sports.