The Pac-12 has decided to play football in the fall, reversing an August decision to postpone until spring because of concerns about COVID-19.
On Thursday, the conference announced that football, basketball and winter sports seasons will resume.
With the necessary state and local health approvals, the football season can start Nov. 6. Men’s and women’s basketball will start Nov. 25, which is NCAA’s official start date, as well as that of other winter sports.
Schedules have not been released but ESPN reported the conference will play a 7-game conference schedule.
In August, the Pac-12 CEO Group’s decision was based on three concerns: consistent testing capabilities across all Pac-12 universities, the prevalence of the virus in Pac-12 communities and nationally, and concerns related to possible cardiac issues potentially associated with COVID-19.
In a news release, the conference announced the decision to resume was based on updated Medical Advisory Committee recommendations that point to material improvements in each of these three areas, along with updated state and local public health guidance.
The release stated: “For universities utilizing daily antigen testing, at least one weekly PCR test will also be administered for each student-athlete, in addition to all positive tests to be confirmed with a PCR test. All testing recommendations will be reviewed and updated as needed on an ongoing basis.”
No fans will be allowed at any sports competitions that will take place on Pac-12 campuses.
The conference stated the decision regarding fans will be revisited in January 2021. “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,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. Scott also said the following: “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.”
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