Big Ten announces if team unable to play due to COVID-19, they forfeit

Running back Treyson Potts #3 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers escapes the tackle of cornerback Quinton Newsome #6 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second half at Memorial Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  ( Steven Branscombe/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Big Ten Conference announced Monday if a team is unable to play in a conference game or competition due to COVID-19 during the upcoming season, they will have to forfeit and the game will not be rescheduled. 

Under the new forfeiture policy, the contest will be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19 and a win for their opponent. If both of the two competing teams are unable to participate in a scheduled game or competition due to COVID-19, it will be considered a "no contest." 

For a conference competition involving three or more teams, if a team is unable to participate due to COVID-19 and team performance in the competition impacts conference standings, the team will have to forfeit the competition and conference standings will be adjusted accordingly.

Last season, the Gophers had to cancel two consecutive games during last year’s shortened seasons due to COVID-19 cases on the team: Wisconsin and Northwestern. The Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry game was eventually rescheduled and played, with the Badgers keeping Paul Bunyan’s Axe for another year.