Pac-12 Announces Immediate Resumption of Football, On-Time Start for Swimming

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Photo Courtesy: Chuckarelei Studios

The Pac-12 Conference announced Thursday night that it will resume the football, basketball and winter sports seasons, with swimming & diving to commence “consistent with the NCAA season dates for those sports.”

The Pac-12 had postponed the fall season and delayed the winter season through Jan. 1, 2021 in an Aug. 11 decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to Thursday’s release, in consultation with “updated health and safety recommendations” and a new rapid-results testing program, the league has reversed course. Changes by the Big Ten and other conferences’ willingness to continue with sports also left the Pac-12 on an island by itself among the Power 5 conferences.

Thursday’s announcement specifically cites changes in the rationale from six weeks as including, “consistent access to sufficient testing across all Pac-12 programs” and less prevalence of COVID-19 in school communities. The return also includes new protocols to monitor athletes’ cardiac functioning after the possible link between COVID-19 and myocarditis, an infection of the heart tissue that includes potentially dangerous swelling.

“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 a press 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.”

Given adequate clearances from local public health authorities, football can commence a seven-game, conference-only schedule on Nov. 6. Men’s and women’s basketball will hew to the official NCAA start date on Nov. 25. The swimming & diving season start dates are to be determined, and the start of practices is up to individual universities.

No fans will be admitted to events through Jan. 2021.

“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. “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.”

2 comments

  1. Ja Bounce

    Water Polo get passed up this Fall apparently because the U.S curries NO QUAIFIED testing experts on Chlorinated Water has any effects on COVID-19?!? I truly find that hard to believe…

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