Following the Big Ten’s decision to officially postpone their fall season sports (including football), the Pac-12 has followed suit, making their own announcement on that front Tuesday afternoon. Their release says that their Pac-12 CEO group voted unanimously to postpone the season, so that’s a little different than the Big Ten, where Iowa and Nebraska reportedly voted against the plan to postpone the fall season, and where several schools have been talking about trying to play anyway. But as per that announcement, the conference (like the Big Ten) is also looking at spring season possibilities:
The decision was made after consultation with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice. The report and updated guidelines of the Committee can be found here: Pac-12 COVID-19 Return to Play Considerations – Aug. 10, 2020 and a full list of Committee members can be found here: Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The Conference also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021.
…“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 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,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “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.”
We’ll see what that leads to for the Pac-12. There are obvious hurdles out there in trying to move football in particular to the spring, including what that means for the 2021 fall season and how that affects eligibility and redshirt seasons. But there also has been some media interest in spring NCAA games already, and that will likely be true for the Pac-12 as well.
A particularly interesting element of this may be what it means for the remaining Power Five conferences: the SEC, the ACC, and the Big 12. At this point, those conferences are all continuing with plans to play this fall:
SEC and ACC come out with statements within minutes of eachother.
Read it as a message to the Big 12 saying hang in there with us, don’t rush to a decision. pic.twitter.com/nhbOApEtYi
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) August 11, 2020
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) August 11, 2020
We’ll see if that continues going forward.