Bob Bowlsby: No decision yet on Big 12 COVID protocols for ’21

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on Wednesday said the conference has yet to establish COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming football season but added that any unvaccinated athlete will be in the testing protocol.

Bowlsby made the comments to open Big 12 Media Days in Arlington, Texas, and encouraged everyone — especially student-athletes — to get vaccinated. However, Bowlsby also said the league cannot mandate vaccinations for its athletes.

“Frankly, anyone not getting vaccinated is taking unnecessary and unwarranted risks,” Bowlsby said. “That’s not just student-athletes but anyone in society. … I think it’s very short-sighted to not get vaccinated.”

Bowlsby said the Big 12 will have COVID-19 protocols in place in 30 days.

“Frankly, we’re not excited to think about having to have protocols,” Bowlsby said. “But we’re also not unprepared.”

Big 12 conference play opens Sept. 18 with Baylor at Kansas.