Last month, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that the conference’s football teams are “expected to play as scheduled” this season and added programs could be made to forfeit if they’re unable to field squads at any point because of COVID-19 issues or other setbacks.
The Big 12 announced a similar policy on Tuesday.
“In the event a conference game is canceled due to a team not having enough student-athletes to compete (due to COVID-19 or for any reason), that team will forfeit and will be credited with a loss in the conference standings,” the Big 12 explained in a released statement. “The opponent will be credited with a win in the conference standings. Both teams will be deemed to have played the game for purposes of conference standings only.”
A game will be declared a “no contest” if both teams cannot compete. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby “retains discretion to declare a no contest if extraordinary circumstances warrant.”
While a matchup can be forfeited at any time before kickoff, the Big 12 wants programs to make such a decision before a visiting team travels for what ultimately becomes a scrapped game.
The NFL has warned it can force forfeits and even withhold game checks if any contest cannot be played during the upcoming season because of a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated personnel.