Pac-12 Conference to Postpone Sports, Including Swimming, through Jan. 1, 2021

2020 Pac-12 women's swimming and diving champions Stanford. Photo Courtesy: Pac-12 Conference

The Pac-12 Conference will cancel sports for the fall semester, through Jan. 1, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision would sideline many of the nation’s top NCAA swimming programs and hamper the Olympic training efforts of numerous hopefuls from a variety of countries. The conference is hoping to play the fall sports again in the spring.

The Associated Press and ESPN first reported the shutdown Tuesday afternoon. An official announcement came soon after. Athletes will continue to have their scholarships honored and get university support during the shutdown.

The decision follows a similar decision made by the Big Ten Conference earlier today, which cancelled its football season with the potential of playing in the spring. The SEC, ACC and Big XII have not postponed fall sports as of yet.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a conference statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

The news comes on the heels of the Big Ten postponing its football season due to COVID-19 earlier Tuesday. The swim season, which begins in late September and early October, is directly affected by the Pac-12’s announcement, something that’s wasn’t the case in the Big Ten announcement.

Concerns over training continuity have driven international students to defer enrollment in colleges and remain at home. One of the highest-profile recruits to the Pac-12, Stanford-bound world-record holder Regan Smith, deferred her enrollment for just that reason, as did fellow incoming Stanford freshman Lillie Nordmann. Arizona State had preemptively red-shirted its swimmers for the season.

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2 years ago

I would like to see ANY/ALL current testing of Athletes/Chlorinated pools correlations FOR/AGAINST why this decision necessary… All U.S Aquatic Facilities should have SOME results!!!
ANYONE (including family members of a Club Swimmer / Water Polo player) knows this to be TRUE!! I find it completely ridiculous the no major (or any for that matter – so far) have used any/all resources around them (I.E – Major University, Sci, Bio, Chem teams/groups, etc) to HELP with day-to-day testing of Pool Chemicals & pos/neg affects on Athletes.. Most (if not all Major facilities (even smaller ones) have a College/Testing facility close at hand…

2 years ago
Reply to  Ja Bounce

Ja Bounce while I am saddened by the decision, I think the issue is as much about the coaches, admin, trainers, and staff required to support the training and events – including potential effects of travel, etc. I guess no season is better than a season with an asterisk? Coach Bowman’s decision to redshirt his team looks like it was a sweet move in the end