A Big Ten Conference ruling Thursday is providing some hope for Rutgers football fans who are eager to see Greg Schiano’s return to the Scarlet Knights’ sidelines in September.
Big Ten officials announced that their athletic programs would play a conference-only schedule for all fall sports.
"We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority," the Big Ten said in a statement.
What remains to be seen is if there will be a season as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge in several parts of the country. On Wednesday, the United States surpassed 3 million COVID-19 cases.
New Jersey has by in large flattened the curve, but a move to resume limited indoor dining was put on hold recently as Gov. Phil Murphy moved pump the brakes on the state's re-opening.
On Tuesday, New Jersey added Kansas, Delaware and Oklahoma to its quarantine-upon-entry list. There are now 19 states on the travel advisory list, which Murphy rolled out on June 24.
A conference-only schedule would cut down on long road trips against out-of-conference foes and help ensure that their teams are being tested for coronavirus universally, ESPN reported.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said Monday the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors were in conversations about how to move forward with fall athletics.
Holloway also indicated that school and league officials would be monitoring the NBA and Major League Baseball to see how they handled trying to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rutgers is scheduled to start the season with out-of-conference games against Monmouth, Syracuse and Temple. The Scarlet Knights then face a nine-week gauntlet of games against Big Ten rivals Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.
On Monday, Rutgers announced that the vast majority of its classes would be taught via remote instruction. Students in disciplines that cannot be taught virtually – science, performing arts, engineers, for example – could have classroom time providing strict social distancing policies were followed.