The Big 12 plans to play football in the fall

A day after the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences decided not to play college football this fall, the Big 12 conference on Wednesday announced it plans to play.

The Big 12 reaffirmed its commitment to moving forward with the fall football schedule, a slate which includes the iconic Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry game known as the “Red River Showdown.”

The Big 12’s board of directors have committed to testing athletes for Covid-19 three times a week in “high contact” sports, which the conference highlights as football, volleyball and soccer.

“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,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a Wednesday statement.

The conference has revised the 2020 football schedule to a 10-game season set to kick off September 26.

The news comes on the heels of two other “Power Five” leagues — the Big Ten and Pac-12 — making the decision to postpone all fall sports amid the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic. The conferences could play football in the spring.

According to ESPN, Big 12 leadership met multiple times on Tuesday to discuss the conference’s fall plans, with the schools reportedly being split on how to proceed.

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades told a local radio station in Texas that if the league was to hold a vote, the results would be “really, really close.”