SAN FRANCISCO (WAFB) - The Pac-12 CEO Group has voted unanimously to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year, the conference announced Tuesday, August 11.
Officials said the decision was made after they consulted with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice. They added that when conditions improve, they’ll consider starting fall sports after January 1, 2021.
Just hours earlier, the Big Ten became the first Power Five conference to decide not to play this fall because of health safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
He noted although the current guideline in place to keep student-athletes safe was working in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee guidelines and state and local government orders, the situation was becoming more challenging: “Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble,” he said. “Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant. We will continue to monitor the situation and when conditions change we will be ready to explore all options to play the impacted sports in the new calendar year.”
CBSSports.com reported though COVID-19 had previously been linked to longer-lasting heart complications, the medical advice given to Pac-12 decision-makers was apparently enough to lead them to pull the plug on playing this fall.
“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,” added 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.”
“We know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, and our hearts go out to them and their families. We have made clear that all of their scholarships will be guaranteed, and that as a Conference we are strongly encouraging the NCAA to grant them an additional year of eligibility,” Scott added.
Earlier, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told the “Dan Patrick Show” that the conference’s medical advisory group has given the SEC presidents permission to move forward with preparing for the college football season this fall.
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