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Big 12 sets COVID-19 forfeit policy

Oklahoma's Marvin Mims (17) catches the ball in front of Oklahoma State's Amen Ogbongbemiga (7) and Rodarius Williams (8) during a Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Oklahoma won 41-13. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Photo 5
Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims (17) catches the ball in front of Oklahoma State’s Amen Ogbongbemiga (7) and Rodarius Williams (8) during a Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Oklahoma won 41-13. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] Photo 5

The Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday that football teams who do not have enough players available, due to COVID-19 or any other reason, will forfeit and take a loss in the conference standings.

“The opponent will be credited with a win in the Conference standings,” a statement from the Big 12 read in part. “Both teams will be deemed to have played the game for purposes of Conference standings only.”

The conference will use a “no contest” designation in the event that both teams in a given game are unable to play.

The Big 12 follows the Pac-12 in setting a policy for the 2021 season that in effect penalizes programs that cannot keep COVID-19 from spreading through their ranks. During the 2020 college football season, when the pandemic was still fresh and vaccines weren’t yet available, games were often postponed due to one or both teams being short-handed, but many were canceled as well.

The college football season begins the first weekend of September, when all 10 Big 12 teams will be in action playing nonconference games. The league is still reeling from Texas and Oklahoma’s decision to leave for the SEC in 2025.

–Field Level Media