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Courtesy the Big Ten Conference

Nebraska basketball had to play seven games in 12 days in 2021. 

The Big Ten and Nebraska have been struck by Covid-19 harshly over the past two years. Every sport in the Big Ten has been affected in some way by Covid-19 but the current sport being affected the most currently is men’s basketball. 

Covid-19 has been terrorizing the sports world for two years and now the sport that’s being affected the most is men’s college basketball. There have been many different protocols put in place over the past two years due to Covid-19. The Big Ten has decided to let the universities create protocols that each player has to abide by.

There are many questions being asked for the Big Ten. Some questions include are these policies working? What do the experts think about these policies? How have these policies affected Big Ten basketball? 

With the changing protocols, medical professionals have different thoughts on what protocols should be implemented. All schools have made their protocols in line with both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).      

The Big Ten has been somewhat quiet about Covid-19 since the start. The last time that the Big Ten came out with a new plan for Covid-19 was Dec. 28th, 2021. In this statement it came out that if a Big Ten team could not play due to Covid-19 positives it would be considered a forfeit. Otherwise,  each school has its own form of rules set for both players and students.  

The Big Ten has some baseline protocols that are needed for each school, including daily antigen testing and enhanced cardiac screening. Each Big Ten school can add additional protocols if they desire. 

There has been mixed messaging on the usefulness of these antigen tests. Various experts had different opinions on how effective they can be. Antigen testing is a Covid-19 test that is a rapid use test. These tests can be used anywhere and are easily obtainable at a local store. 

“Daily antigen testing is good to get quick results from a test, but this is not always the most reliable testing,” Omaha Nurse Practitioner Brian Stoneking said. “ I think that there needs to be tests often and I like how the Universities are attempting to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

These different types of tests have been used for quite some time but are still not a reliable source. The more reliable tests would be PCR tests. PCR tests are currently the most reliable test for Covid-19.

A PCR test is a test that is a swab that is put up the nasal canal and advanced more than an inch in the nasal passage to have a good test. These tests normally take around 24 to 72 hours to get results. 

“I’ve seen a few universities’ policies and there are some good procedures put in place but there could be more done to help.” Omaha nurse Cindy Simons said. “With Covid-19 being easily spreadable there needs to be more reliable testing.”    

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has many Covid-19 Policies put in place for students and athletes to try and keep everyone healthy. 

Currently at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln you have to wear a mask to classes and any building on campus. There are also randomized testing for students, athletes, and faculty that are free. 

The tests that are used are antigen tests for everyone on campus. Due to the use of antigen testing on students these tests are easily available for athletes. 

So far in the 2021-2022 Men’s College Basketball season Nebraska has had to postpone one Big Ten game due to Covid-19 against Ohio State. 

With the season more than halfway through only one postponed game for Nebraska is not awful but a look back at the 2020-2021 season will make you surprised.

Nebraska in 2021 played seven games in 12 days. With the Covid-19 protocols if there are more games postponed there will be advantages and disadvantages for teams affected by it. 

“In Nebraska it seems as if the Covid spread has died down quite a bit” Dr. Poole said, “but there is a slim chance that there could be another spike and there could be more games postponed making it hard for Big Ten teams to play.” 

Covid-19 has spiked and plateaued many times. There is no telling when there will be a spike again.

The Big Ten and universities will have to figure out plans in the future to decide on what to change with their Covid-19 plans. These plans currently work but depending on the circumstances and different technology testing will change in the future.