Here's the full text of the Big Ten announcement. . .
BIG TEN ANNOUNCES ADJUSTED PLAYING RULES TO ENHANCE
STUDENT-ATHLETE SAFETY FOR ILLINOIS-NORTHWESTERN GAME AT WRIGLEY FIELD
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference announced a series of adjustments to
football playing rules in order to enhance student-athlete safety for the
Illinois-Northwestern game to be played on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Wrigley Field
in Chicago. The Big Ten worked with both Illinois and Northwestern to review a
number of potential rule or field adjustments to provide the safest environment
for the student-athletes. The conference requested and received waivers to
several NCAA playing rules in the interest of student-athlete safety.
The following rule changes were determined to be the best of all options and
will be in effect for this game only based on the unique layout of the field.
1) All offensive plays will head toward the West end zone, including all
extra points and all overtime possessions.
2) All kickoffs will be kicked toward the East end zone.
3) After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the
offense to head toward the West end zone.
4) As a result of a coin toss held by the conference office Friday morning,
Illinois will occupy the West team bench in the first half and Northwestern will
occupy the West team bench in the second half and for all overtime periods.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes is of the utmost importance,"
said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "Both Illinois and Northwestern did
significant due diligence over the past 18 months, but after seeing the actual
layout of the field, all parties felt that it was appropriate to adjust the
rules to further enhance the safety of our student-athletes. Wrigley Field is
one of the most historic venues in the country, and playing the
Illinois-Northwestern game at this facility will provide a once-in-a-lifetime
experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans."