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Pac-12 CEO Group announces decision to schedule conference-only play for several Fall sports

Pac-12 also delays move towards mandatory athletics activities
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 8:00 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Pac-12 announced on Friday that they would play a conference-only schedule for this upcoming fall sports season. Texas A&M football will no longer play Pac-12 member Colorado on September 19th nor will Texas A&M volleyball play Washington on September 12th. A&M Athletics Director Ross Bjork released the following statement on Twitter regarding the Pac-12′s decision:

“I appreciate the advanced phone call from my friend and fellow AD, Rick George at COlorado, for sharing the news about the Pac-12′s decision. We understand these decisions are not easy and fully appreciate the changing environment around us. This is yet another example of the fluidity around college sports and we remain diligent as we gather accurate information about what lies ahead.”

“Finding available opponents for Texas A&M to play football in 2020 is not the biggest challenge. Playing in the safest environment possible remains the obstacle and we are focused on the health and safety of our student’athletes. As we learn more, we will communicate accordingly.”

The Pac-12 released the following statement:

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 CEO Group announced today that the fall season for several Pac-12 sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, would schedule Conference-only games, and that it is delaying the start of mandatory athletic activities, until a series of health and safety indicators, which have recently trended in a negative direction, provided sufficient positive data to enable a move to a second phase of return-to-play activities. The CEO Group made clear that it hopes to play football and all other fall sports provided that it can meet the health and safety needs of its student-athletes and obtain appropriate permissions from state and local health authorities. Today’s decision will result in the start dates for the impacted sports being delayed. The decision is effective immediately across all Pac-12 member universities and was made following a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group earlier today.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

“Competitive sports are an integral part of the educational experience for our student-athletes, and we will do everything that we can to support them in achieving their dreams while at the same time ensuring that their health and safety is at the forefront,” said Michael Schill, Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and President of the University of Oregon.

Pac-12 student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the coming academic year because of safety concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.

The Pac-12 has developed a series of potential fall sport scheduling models including Conference-only schedules and delayed season starts. Details on Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.

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