After voting to postpone the fall sports season last month, it’s back to football for the Big Ten conference, which is expected to start its season the weekend of Oct. 23-24.
The Big Ten said its Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to restart.
“They were able to get some answers medically,” said UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. “The health component is the number one factor.”
The reversal comes after other conferences in the ACC, SEC and Big 12 voted to continue its football seasons.
“We’re still not going to have any fans in the stands,” Alvarez said. “It will still be a huge hit financially and that was not part of the decision making.”
He estimates the university would lose around $100 million if football weren’t played.
“We have no plans on cutting sports,” he said. “We’ve gone through cuts of salaries. We’ve gone through trimming staffs.”
The decision to play has drawn criticism from Dane County leaders, who have urged fans to avoid gathering in large groups to watch the games.
“I’d encourage the same thing,” Alvarez said. “We have a huge peak in the number of positive tests, so I think they’re giving the right message and I support that.”
Click in the player above to hear the entire interview.