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Pac-12 To Resume College Football in November

September 25, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
All of the Power 5 conferences will be playing college football come November. On Thursday, September 24, the Pac-12 Conference announced it will be holding a truncated season, according to various media reports.

Based on updated Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee recommendations that looked at changes to testing capabilities, prevalence of COVID-19, and state and local health official guidance, the Pac-12 CEO Group approved the start of the football season on November 6 for teams that have approval from its local health officials.

college football
Photo: Peter M. Cottle / Creative Commons

Pac-12 universities with the necessary public health approvals may commence practice immediately with a seven-game conference-only season to begin on November 6, and the Pac-12 Championship Game on December 18, enabling Pac-12 teams to be considered for selection by the College Football Playoff. The football schedule will be released in the coming days, according to an issued press release from the conference.

In addition to the consistent access to sufficient testing across all Pac-12 programs, community prevalence has shown continued improvement in the majority of communities across the Pac-12 footprint, the release said. To address concerns regarding potential health outcomes related to the virus, each Pac-12 sports medicine group will be implementing cardiac monitoring protocols for all student-athletes with a positive test. The Pac-12 institutions are also participating in a national COVID-19 cardiac registry which will allow for medical practitioners to monitor closely, and gain greater insight into, potential health outcomes in student-athletes.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports remains our guiding light and number one priority,” Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Oregon President Michael Schill said in the release.  “Our CEO Group has taken a measured and thoughtful approach to today’s decision, including extensive consultation with stakeholders on the evolving information and data related to health and safety.”

No fans will be permitted at any sporting competition taking place on Pac-12 campuses.  The decision to not allow fans at competitions will be revisited based upon health and safety considerations in January 2021.
“From the beginning of this crisis, our focus has been on following the science, data, and counsel of our public health and infectious disease experts,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release.  “Our agreement with Quidel to provide daily rapid-results testing has been a game-changer in enabling us to move forward with confidence that we can create a safe environment for our student-athletes while giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At the same time, we will continue to monitor health conditions and data and be ready to adjust as required in the name of the health of all.”
In addition to the announcement of the shortened college football season, the Pac-12 also made an announcement on winter sports. Men’s and women’s basketball can begin activities on November 25, which is consistent with the NCAA’s official start date for these sports, and other winter sports consistent with the NCAA season dates for those sports.
To read the full release from the Pac-12 on the resumption of fall college football, click here