ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Terrapins will take the to the football field the weekend of October 23-24. The Big Ten decided this week to reverse its decision to cancel the fall football season.
Maryland will play a conference-only nine-game season. Details of the schedule are expected to be announced soon.
“We are excited that Maryland and Big Ten football are back,” said Damon Evans, Athletic Director. “The health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff has always remained a priority, and the new medical protocols developed by medical professionals have put us all in a stronger position to resume competition. We are thrilled that our Terrapins, who have stayed resilient in this uncertain time, will have a chance to represent Maryland on the field this fall.”
Strict Testing Rules
According to a statement from the Big Ten, “The decision was based on information presented by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, a working group that was established by the COP/C and Commissioner Kevin Warren to ensure a collaborative and transparent process.”
Under the new rules athletes, coaches, trainers, and others involved with the team must undergo daily antigen tests for COVID. The tests must come back negative before each practice or game. The diagnosis would then be confirmed with the more accurate PCR test.
“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee.
COVID positive students are required to undergo comprehensive cardiac testing including labs, ECG, echocardiogram, and a cardiac MRI.
Athletes must wait 21 days after their COVID diagnosis to return to play. A cardiologist must clear all athletes.
I Am Thrilled
Maryland Head Coach Michael Locksley could barely contain his excitement.
“As a football coach, I am thrilled that our team will have the opportunity to compete on Saturdays this fall. Our student-athletes have stayed focused and prepared and are eager to return to competition. I am extremely thankful for the incredible work of the medical staff here at Maryland and throughout the conference to develop the new protocols that allow us to get back to doing what we love.”
The university said it would follow guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department and no fans will be allowed in the stands.