TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - University of Arizona fans won’t be able to see any of their Wildcats compete this fall.
Pac-12 officials postponed all sports through the end of the year following a meeting on Tuesday Aug. 11.
The decision affects football, basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, diving and volleyball.
Arizona officials said despite the decision, the school will continue to work to bring students and staff back to the campus. The school said it will also “continue its ongoing re-entry processes, medical screenings and activities” for athletics.
“This news from the Pac-12 CEO Group is challenging, but it is the right decision because it prioritizes health, safety, and wellbeing above all else,” University of Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke said in a news release. “These priorities have been the shared guiding principles of the University of Arizona and Arizona Athletics since the outbreak of this global pandemic in March, and they remain our focus moving forward.”
The Mid-American Conference on Saturday became the first league competing at college football’s highest level to cancel its fall season because of COVID-19 concerns.
The Southeastern Conference has said is not yet ready to call off the football season.
The Arizona Wildcats were scheduled to open the 2020 season at home against Arizona State on Sept. 26 before cancellation announcements were made.
Pac-12 hopes to return in the 2021.
Heeke released the following statements to Wildcat fans.
The Pac-12 Conference’s announcement to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year is a difficult decision. This news from the Pac-12 CEO Group is challenging, but it is the right decision because it prioritizes health, safety, and wellbeing above all else. These priorities have been the shared guiding principles of the University of Arizona and Arizona Athletics since the outbreak of this global pandemic in March, and they remain our focus moving forward.
The impact of this announcement on our student-athletes’ ability to compete this fall and fulfill their experience as Wildcats is hard to overcome. The outstanding young men and women in our 21 programs aspire and dream of representing our athletics department, University, and community through competition. I have a great deal of empathy for these student-athletes and the impact this will have on them personally. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked tirelessly over the last five months to overcome the many challenges during these times, and I am extremely proud of what our athletics department has accomplished.
I want to personally thank you for your ongoing support through these unprecedented times. Our Wildcat Family has been instrumental in the accomplishments of Arizona Athletics. Your unwavering support has been inspiring and impactful as our department continues to provide our student-athletes with opportunities to become athletic, academic and life champions.
The decision to postpone seasons will impact your ability to cheer on and support our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. This disruption of our fans’ ability to experience a sporting event and enjoy game days this fall is disappointing. We will be reaching out regarding this decision’s impact on ticketing and scheduling in the near future.
The power of the Wildcat Family has propelled Arizona Athletics for years and will continue to do so. We cannot thank you enough for supporting and cheering on our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.