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B1G city mayors send letter to Big Ten Conference ahead of season opener

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Madison mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway was one of the mayors that signed the letter.

Syndication: Milwaukee Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Twelve mayors of Big Ten communities signed a letter that was sent to the conference Tuesday morning, asking that the conference take a few practical measures to ensure each college and university community is better prepared for the continued fight against COVID-19.

Madison, Wisconsin’s mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway, was one of the mayors that signed the letter. The other mayors were from the cities that contain these schools: Michigan State, Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio State. You’ll note that Nebraska and Rutgers are the two teams absent.

Within the letter, the mayors asked that the conference take the entire community into account when determining if it is safe to play or not.

“While you implement data-driven decisions based on test positivity and population positivity rates to hold games, practices and develop the meeting schedule, we request that these decisions are also made with defined metrics for overall community population positivity rates and test positivity. County and city health officials from Big Ten communities met on Thursday, Oct. 15 to further discuss metrics used in each community, and to finalize guidelines for play, based on positivity rates of the community, not just the team. We support our public health officials in their efforts and urge you to consider their request. Please include the communities where you will be holding games in your conversations and assign a metric to this that is similar to what has already been laid out for your teams. We ask that you work with local and county health officials in these communities to define a population positivity rate, where hosting a football game that would bring increased activity into the community is no longer safe to do. We do not expect this metric to be in line with the current standard for the team; however, similar standards being applied to the communities this will affect is necessary to keep people safe.

We also request that the Big Ten Conference release game times and schedules as early as possible and make it a priority to host less or no games that take place in the evening or late afternoon, as these start times are associated with increased activity.”

There are still questions that have been left unanswered by the Big Ten Conference, for instance how many players/staff have to have COVID-19 for their to be a cancellation. That’s a big one.

Here is what Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst had to say on Wednesday morning about his team’s protocols. You’ll note that he doesn’t mention if the Badgers will be missing any players, which has been a strategy that a number of coaches have used so far this season, like P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Michigan’s campus has also been put under “stay at home” orders by their county, which excludes the athletes oddly so the Wolverines will be traveling to Minneapolis on Saturday to play the Gophers. It is also worth noting that Purdue’s head coach, Brian Jeff Brohm, is going to miss at least this weekend’s game as he tested positive for the virus.

The No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers host the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday night at 7 PM. The remaining six B1G games will be played on Saturday.