College Football

Pac-12 Returns: What You Need To Know

September 24

College football fans, there's some delightful news – Pac-12 football will be played this season.

The conference announced Thursday it will start a seven-game schedule on Nov. 6th, with the conference title game being held Dec. 18th.

Because the Pac-12 will end its season by the middle of December, the conference reportedly will be eligible for the College Football Playoff, as well.

However, fans will not be permitted at any sporting competition taking place on Pac-12 campuses. 

Players will be tested daily using the rapid-results testing program, with an even more thorough test (known as a PCR) weekly for all players. The PCR test will also be administered to any player who tests positive on the rapid-results test.

Regarding positive tests, the Pac-12 said:

"To address concerns regarding potential health outcomes related to the virus, each Pac-12 sports medicine group will be implementing cardiac monitoring protocols for all student-athletes with a positive test. The Pac-12 institutions are also participating in a national COVID-19 cardiac registry which will allow for medical practitioners to monitor closely, and gain greater insight into, potential health outcomes in student-athletes."

The conference originally announced on Aug. 11 that it would be postponing all fall sports in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But earlier this month, the Pac-12 announced it had partnered with a company to deploy rapid-testing for the virus that could "speed the return of sport competitions," paving the way for Thursday's news.

In the Pac-12's statement, conference chair and Oregon president Michael Schill said:"The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports remains our guiding light and number one priority. Our CEO Group has taken a measured and thoughtful approach to today's decision, including extensive consultation with stakeholders on the evolving information and data related to health and safety."

USC athletic director Mike Bohn also issued a statement, detailing his pleasure with the resumption of fall and winter sports for the conference.

The Pac-12's decision to resume means that all of the Power 5 conferences will play football this fall, as the Big Ten announced its own return to play last week.

Because of all the changes, the NCAA also issued a statement on Thursday removing any bowl requirements for this season, meaning every team in college football would be eligible.

This is a developing story.


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