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All fall Pac-12 sports seasons postponed, potentially until spring

Every Pac-12 fall sport season – including the third year for UCLA football junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson – has been postponed. The conference announced Tuesday that the conditions made playing unsafe for the time being. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Taiyo Keilin and Jon Christon

Aug. 11, 2020 1:46 p.m.

All fall Pac-12 sports have been postponed for the rest of the calendar year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference announced Tuesday.

“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.”

In the official announcement, the conference also released the medical recommendations that went into its decision.

The decision cancels the scheduled seasons of men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf and cross country and alters the seasons of winter sports originally set to start in 2020 – including men’s and women’s basketball.

The conference will keep the option open to reschedule the seasons in the spring.

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation – the conference UCLA men’s water polo competes in – has yet to announce plans for the fall season.

An emergency meeting with Power Five commissioners Sunday discussed the possibility of postponing or outright canceling fall sports. The decision was made unanimously in a meeting among the schools’ presidents and chancellors Tuesday. 

“Despite the tremendous efforts of so many, medical experts have advised us that the risk to compete this fall is too significant,” said UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond in a statement. “UCLA Athletics is in complete support of today’s decision by the Pac-12 CEO group to postpone all sport competitions.”

The Big Ten was the first major conference to make a similar decision when it announced the postponement of the 2020-2021 fall sports season earlier Tuesday, by a 12-2 vote from the schools’ presidents. 

The Pac-12’s decision comes after a long summer of maneuvering from the conference in attempts to salvage a season for all fall sports, especially football.

When the nonconference portion of the football schedule was canceled July 10, the Pac-12 created an adjusted conference-only schedule that pushed back the season until late September.

With a season still expected at the time, the NCAA released a list of safety/health requirements for athletic programs to follow Aug. 5. A conference-approved practice schedule for all fall sports had Olympic sports starting practices Aug. 15 and football training camp starting Aug. 17.

Most fall sport student-athletes have been on campus and taking part in summer training since June 22. Because of UCLA’s nondisclosure policy when it comes to specific coronavirus testing, the total number of those athletes to test positive is unknown, but it was reported that at least eight football players have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.

Many football student-athletes drafted proposals to ensure their safety if a season were to be played, with some even threatening a boycott if the stipulations were not met. Thirty UCLA football players also signed a letter in June detailing a list of demands calling for better protections for the expected upcoming season.

The conference also announced a scholarship guarantee for the student-athletes involved and encourages the NCAA to grant an extra year of eligibility for those who decide to opt out of any sport this academic year.

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Taiyo Keilin | Assistant Sports editor
Keilin is currently an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's soccer, cross country, women's golf and men's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball, women's golf and men's golf beats.
Keilin is currently an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's soccer, cross country, women's golf and men's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball, women's golf and men's golf beats.
Jon Christon | Assistant Sports editor
Christon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. He was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and softball beats.
Christon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. He was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and softball beats.
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