Big Ten Announces Football Forfeiture Policy For 2021-22 Season
It's hard to believe, but we're just a couple of weeks away from Iowa Hawkeye football! The Hawkeyes kick off their season on September 4th as they play host to nationally ranked Indiana. Iowa fans are jumping at the chance to finally get back inside of Kinnick Stadium and cheer on the Hawks! But once again in 2021, COVID is looming large across the sports landscape.
Iowa didn't taste the disappointment of a game cancelation until their matchup with Missouri in the Music City Bowl was called off after Missouri cited a significant increase in COVID cases on the team. A number of other Big Ten teams did face situations like that during the regular season too. Today, the Big Ten Conference issued a statement on the forfeiture policy heading into the football season. The statement at BigTen.org reads in part,
...if one of it's member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and not rescheduled. The contest shall be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19, and a win for its opponent in the conference standings.
The statement goes on to say that if BOTH teams are unable to play on a scheduled day due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, the game will be declared a "no contest". Missing games at all can prove costly in more ways than one. If a game is called, the home team loses out on hosting fans and generating all the revenue that comes with a packed stadium. Canceled games could also mean not hitting the required number of games played to qualify for a bowl game, or the College Football Playoff.