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NCAAB: Big Ten modifies COVID-19 forfeiture policy

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Following the lead of other major conferences, the Big Ten on Tuesday updated its forfeiture policy for the remaining 2021-22 conference contests in all sports.

If a team can’t take part in a scheduled game because of COVID-19, a forfeit no longer will be automatic. Instead, the league office, participating teams and chief medical officer Dr. James Borchers will consult to decide whether the game should be rescheduled, declared a no-contest or forfeited, the Big Ten said in a news release.

“The conference office and all 14 Big Ten member institutions have been in continuous contact about developments related to COVID-19,” commissioner Kevin Warren said. “The well-being of our student-athletes and our entire athletic communities is our top priority and we are updating our forfeiture policy to support their health and safety as well as the integrity of conference competition.”

In men’s and women’s basketball, teams should have at least seven scholarship athletes as well as one coach in order to play. A team with lower numbers could ask to play a scheduled game and will be granted the request if medical personnel deem it safe.

Teams that have the minimum number but believe it isn’t safe to play can request a postponement. A forfeit won’t be automatic, but a school must demonstrate to the conference and the medical team why it can’t take part in a game. Any team that cannot prove its case will be assessed a forfeit.

Games approved to be rescheduled will be declared a no-contest if the schedule doesn’t allow for a new game date.

–Field Level Media

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