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The University of Texas Longhorns will start its fall 2020 football season with a match up against Texas Tech on Sept. 26, according to the new fall football schedule announced Wednesday by the Big 12 conference.
The announcement puts to rest, for now, speculation that the conference would be postponing its season until at least January, as Big 10 and Pac-12 did earlier this week. The Longhorns will play a nonconference game against UT-El Paso on Sept. 12 at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Let's do this 🤘 #HookEm | #MyTexas https://t.co/Hv4W5twTif— Texas Longhorns (@Texas Longhorns)1597246371.0
Changing pandemic conditions could cause a reassessment later, the Big 12 board chairman said.
"The Board continues to believe that the health and well-being of our student-athletes must guide all decisions" commented Board of Directors Chairman and TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement Wednesday. "To that end the Board has consistently relied on the advice and counsel of top medical experts to determine the viability of available options. Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the Board's collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being. We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course."
A 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 delivery for #Big12FB fans‼️ Your first look at the 2⃣0⃣2⃣0⃣ Conference schedule ⤵️ https://t.co/1W00A3EYuM— Big 12 Conference (@Big 12 Conference)1597246320.0
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged the debate and concern over the discussion in the weeks leading up to the decision but said he believes the season can move forward safely.
"The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week," said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we've seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions' ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes. We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19. Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome."
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, "the decision among the Big 12 leaders came down to ramifications of not playing a season such as player mental health, structure, etc. versus the uncertain risk of playing a season."
"The Big 12's decision Tuesday night to trudge onward with a 2020 fall football season has kept alive the hope, maybe faint, that there will be college pigskin action in autumn. Hours after the Big Ten and Pac-12 called it quits, the Big 12, with a chance to shut down and bring maybe all of college football with it, stood firm. The league's top decision-makers were determined to continue marching toward a September kickoff. A group split and on the fence entering the day, Big 12 leaders settled on the side of their neighbors to the east and southeast, ACC and SEC, instead of the ones to their north and west."
This is soooo sad...like why? I feel like this puts players in an even worse position too. Like “show your loyalty… https://t.co/1keNNgpoSO— Lydia (@Lydia)1597247117.0
PTL I have a job (maybe). Mask up, wash your hands, and keep a social distance. Don’t eff this up. https://t.co/MRWWK475PZ— angela wang (@angela wang)1597202540.0
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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