TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Game on! The Pac-12 announced on Sep. 24 that the conference will resume football, basketball and the winter sports season this fall.
Football sports will be the first to tackle the season. Football teams with the necessary state and local health approvals may commence on Nov. 6. Men’s and women’s basketball will be able to resume play on Nov. 25- a date consistent with the NCAA’s official start date.
The Pac-12 CEO group that announced the kick off date said that the decision to resume sports in November is based on updated recommendations by the Medical Advisory Committee that point to improvements in three areas: consistent testing capabilities across all Pac-12 universities; prevalence of the virus in Pac-12 communities, and nationally; and concerns related to possible cardiac concerns associated to COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports remains our guiding light and number one priority,” said Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Oregon President Michael Schill. “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.”
In addition to sufficient testing to athletes, sports medicine groups will be implementing cardiac monitoring protocols to players testing positive. This will allow medics to monitor health closely to gain insight on the health complications in student-athletes related to COVID-19.
To further decreases the infection risk of student-athletes contracting the coronavirus, fans will NOT be allowed to attend sporting competitions taking place across any Pac-12 campus. This decision will be revisited and updated in January 2021.
In regards to football, Pac-12 universities can resume practice immediately- with the seven-game conference-only season beginning Nov. 6. and the Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 18.
Details about the new basketball schedule for the fall will be released in the coming weeks, but it is safe to say that basketball season for men and women will resume Nov. 25.
For winter sports, each Pac-12 university will determine when practice sessions can resume, in accordance to local public health guidelines and status of COVID-19 on campus. Final competition dates for winter sports will be released on a later date.
Fall sports post-season-championships postponed until Spring will be conducted in January, with preparation and practice occurring in the fall as permitted by NCAA guidelines.