An Ohio State-Rutgers football game in 2016. Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Wednesday that it will begin its football season during the weekend of Oct. 23-24, backed by daily coronavirus testing for all on-field personnel and enhanced cardiac screenings.

Why it matters: The conference was the first Power 5 league to postpone its 2020 fall sports seasons because of coronavirus concerns.

  • Each institution in the conference will have a "chief infection officer" to report testing data and establish a cardiac registry to monitor athletes' heart health.
  • Much of the pressure to suspend college football had been fueled by concerns about myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition, which has been linked to COVID-19, has been found in at least one-third of Big Ten athletes who have had the virus.

What they're saying: "The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities," said Ohio State team physician Dr. Jim Borchers in a statement.

The big picture: The Big Ten said that a decision on its other fall sports — as well as winter sports that begin in the fall — will be announced "shortly" but noted that all sports would "require testing protocols before they can resume competition."

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