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UW “thrilled” about return of football

Bucky Badger performs pushups after Wisconsin scored at touchdown against Central Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Bucky Badger performs pushups after Wisconsin scored at touchdown against Central Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)(Andy Manis | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:38 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - University of Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez says he is “thrilled” for the return of Big Ten football, “specifically BADGER FOOTBALL.”

The Badger legend added he’s excited for the student-athletes, coaches, support staff, and fans and both he and head coach Paul Chryst are confident UW will be ready for kickoff late next month.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten announced it would reverse course on football and play an abbreviated eight-game schedule, starting on October 23. It has not said what would happen with the rest of the fall and winter men’s and women’s sports.

Alvarez went on to thank UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank for “her support and thoughtfulness” throughout the conference’s decision to first cancel, then resume the football season. He noted that he supported the initial decision not to play, just as he does the latest call to go ahead and kick off next month.

In her statement on the conference’s decision, Blank said the health and safety of the student-athletes was her primary concern throughout the process, and it was those worries that led to the original postponement.

However, since then, she explained presidents and chancellors have had “extensive conversations” with doctors and medical advisers and they now believe they have a plan for daily testing that is “feasible and affordable.” She said the Big Ten has used that information to establish protocols around testing, isolation, and the return to play.

“With these protocols, the health concerns that I had in August have been allayed. The Big Ten has also agreed to pay for the testing, which will be done in a uniform manner in all schools,” Blank said.

Blank pointed out that the protocols the Big Ten established would cover all sports, but football will be the one that will likely start first.

“There are still many details to be worked out, but I will be happy to see the Badgers return to competition in 2020,” she concluded.

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