Pac-12 to Resume Football, Each University May Decide When Winter Sports Begin

by Spencer Penland 7

September 24th, 2020 College, News, Pac-12

The Pac-12 CEO Group announced today that Pac-12 sports will be returning sooner than expected. After announcing back in August that the Pac-12 would not be participating in any sports until January of 2021, a new schedule came out today in which some sports would be allowed to return to official practices more or less immediately.

The initial announcement in August came following concerns by the conference and its universities that participating in sports this fall would unnecessarily put student athletes at an increased risk for COVID-19. In today’s release, the Pac-12 says that it feels more comfortable now that the precautionary measures which are in place to keep students safe will be sufficiently effective at protecting the students.

Pac-12 football and basketball are the only sports that have hard start dates for competition in this new schedule. Football will be returning on November 6th, with a 7 game season. Most importantly for Pac-12 football, the 7 game season with a conference championship will allow Pac-12 teams to be considered for the College Football Playoffs. Additionally, men’s and women’s basketball will be permitted to begin competition on November 25th, which is consistent with start of the existing NCAA basketball schedule. The Pac-12 is still standing firmly with its decision not to allow fans at sporting events until at least January 2021.

For the other winter sports, which include wrestling, swimming & diving, and women’s gymnastics, their timeline for the return to practice is blurrier. The new schedule from the Pac-12 essentially puts the decision as to when to allow those sports to resume in the hands of each university. According to the release, “each university will determine when practice may commence in accordance with local public health official guidance and the situation on campus.” Moreover, the final competition schedule for these winter sports will be released at a later date. Importantly, the Big Ten announced earlier today that swimming & diving will not be starting to have meets until Janaury 1st of 2021. While we won’t know for sure until the final schedule for Pac-12 swimming and diving is announced, based off today’s release, it seems plausible that we could see Pac-12 swim meets before 2021.

For the other fall sports which have had the NCAA post-season championships postponed until spring, their regular seasons will remain postponed until at least January 2021.

Pat Forde pointed out on Twitter following the Pac-12 announcement that only two Division I conferences have yet to announce their plan to resume Football at some point this fall. The Mountain West Conference is expected to announce that decision tonight, and the MAC is set to meet tomorrow.

Here is the audio recording of the announcement by the Pac-12:

Here is the full press release by the Pac-12.




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2 years ago

The PAC 12 should be immediately kicked out of the power 5 in football.

Swim&Polo Dad
Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

Apparently they were several years ago, just nobody told Larry Scott. . . .

ct swim fan
2 years ago

No meets in the Big 10 for swimming and diving until January 1st, yet a full football schedule for a sport way more likely to spread COVID. That makes zero sense, except for the fact that money talks.

Last edited 2 years ago by ct swim fan
2 years ago

While we were all watching South Korean baseball on ESPN and our summer little leagues were fully underway, it appears these institutions had to deal with local and state government issues instead of using the facts at hand to get our young people back into safe sporting environments. We’ll all look back at this and scratch our heads when we get the vaccine. Since there is no prior standard to follow, it’s not altogether surprising that the leaders in business found solutions before the academicians could make decisions. Nearly every conference is doing it a little bit differently.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bevo
2 years ago

Pretty sure that when all but the Nunesbros look back, people be primarily wondering why 200,000 and growing had to die, not whether college football got started on time.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
2 years ago

Glad they joined the party but wonder why they showed up late?

2 years ago

Way to “lead” Pac 10.