The number of COVID-19 cases among Rutgers football players is up to 28, a figure that does not count "multiple" staff members who have tested positive, according to Keith Sergeant of NJ.com. The outbreak at Rutgers prompted Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren to "take a step back with regard to the Big Ten's plan to begin play this fall," 247Sports reported.
Warren held a call with the league's athletic directors on Monday, the day before the league originally planned to release its 2020 football schedule, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. But the Rutgers outbreak has led Warren to delay the release of the Big Ten's schedule.
That decision looms as Big Ten football programs continue grappling with the effects of the virus. Michigan State and Ohio State each paused workouts last month due to COVID-19 outbreaks, while Northwestern recently paused team activities after a player tested positive for the virus. Rutgers players are scheduled to remain in isolation through Saturday.
Rutgers initially paused workouts in July when six new players tested positive. That number increased to 15 a few days later and has since nearly doubled. Despite the Rutgers outbreak, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy deferred to the Big Ten when asked about the program's outbreak Tuesday.
"It is worth noting that conferences matter here," Murphy said, according to NJ.com. "So what the Big Ten decides, what the NCAA decides (is important). Frankly what our posture is, for the moment we'd like to see proceed."