Pac-12 Announces Plan to Conduct Conference-Only Seasons for Fall Sports

Levi%27s+Stadium%2C+the+site+of+the+Pac12+Championship+Football+game+in+Santa+Clara%2C+CA+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+30%2C+2018.+%28Photo+by%3A+Justin+Prather+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29.

Levi’s Stadium, the site of the Pac12 Championship Football game in Santa Clara, CA on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by: Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle).

By Cole Bagley, Assistant Sports Editor

 

On July 10 the Pac-12 CEO Group announced the decision to schedule conference-only play for multiple Fall sports and to delay the start of mandatory athletic activities. This decision will impact the schedules for football, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The Pac-12 joins the Athletic Coast, Big Ten and Ivy League conferences who have already made similar adjustments to their fall sports schedules.

As several states that house Pac-12 schools have recently seen a spike in cases of Covid-19, the Pac-12 is being extremely cautious with their plan to return to fall sports. The conference made it very clear that they will not only wait for health and safety indicators to trend positively, but they will also seek to obtain permissions from state and local health authorities before moving into a phase of return-to-play-activities.

“The health and safety of our students-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott in an interview on pac-12.com. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with the maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

While it is still unclear of whether or not Fall sports will take place, this does spark some hope that the Pac-12 will institute policies and regulations that will lead to seasonal play even if it’s only within the conference. This would allow full control of all seasonal operations, instilling confidence in the execution of seasonal play and the safety of the athletes.

“While we support the Pac-12 Conference’s decision today to only play conference games this fall in football, volleyball and soccer, we are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Mark Harlan, Director of Athletics to utahutes.com. “We know it is particularly difficult to miss the rivalry matchups with BYU in these sports, and we look forward to continuing those as soon as we are able. These are truly unprecedented times and we are working diligently to determine appropriate solutions while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone involved. Our conference and university leadership has provided great support and direction, informed by leading health experts and data. We will work with our colleagues at each of the non-conference institutions impacted by today’s decision to reschedule those contests, and we will provide more information about our schedules and our home events when they become available.”

While it is disappointing to miss out on the Holy War and other out of conference matchup’s for this season, Utah can look forward to deepening its rivalries within the Pac-12 as it seems they will be provided an opportunity to face each of them this fall.

 

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