Pac-12 cancels all sports for the rest of 2020, including football
The Pac-12 has joined multiple other college conferences and leagues in canceling fall sports for the 2020 season, including football. According to the conference, no sports will be played for the rest of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after Jan. 1, 2021.
The announcement came Tuesday afternoon, a day after it was reported that the majority of major NCAA conferences were leaning towards not playing this fall and potentially pushing the seasons back to the spring of 2021. According to the Pac-12, the vote to postpone the season was unanimous.
“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 in a news release. “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.”
According to the Pac-12’s news release, student-athletes on scholarship will continue to have those scholarships guaranteed.
“Additionally, the Pac-12 Conference strongly encourages that the NCAA grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility,” the conference said in the release. “As part of their guaranteed scholarships, they will continue to have university support, including academic advising and tutoring, among other support services.”
“We know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, and our hearts go out to them and their families,” Scott added. “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.”
#Pac12 Commissioner, Larry Scott:
"We've got a lot of work to do, and we don't have every question answered right now."
— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynMcIntyr) August 11, 2020
According to multiple reports ahead of the Pac-12’s Tuesday announcement, medical officials affiliated with Pac-12 universities and the conference did not sound too optimistic about the prospects of playing football and other sports in the spring, either.
The Pac-12 football season, if it happened this fall, was already going to look very different due to likely little to no fans in the stands and also the fact that the conference was removing non-conference games and implementing a conference-only schedule. For UW, that meant losing a high-profile season opener against Michigan, as well as games against Utah State and Sacramento State. WSU lost the chance to play non-conference games against Utah State, Houston and Idaho.
WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun provided a statement on the announcement.
Statement from Athletic Director Pat Chun.
— Washington State Athletics (@WSUCougars) August 11, 2020
This story will be updated as more information is available.