NCAA

Will SEC, others go after Pac-12 players after cancelling season?

NCAA

Things are happening, and they are happening fast.

On Tuesday, Pac-12 leaders voted unanimously to postpone all sports through the end of the year, the conference announced.

The Pac-12 football season is canceled. At least, for now.

“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.”

Pac-12 student-athletes will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed due to this cancellation, but one question has been brought up on Twitter and as well on the webinar:

Could other schools from the SEC and ACC recruit Pac-12 players for this season, since their season is now canceled for the year?

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An interesting question, but ultimately, that is up for the players to decide.

During a webinar involving the Pac-12 leaders Tuesday, ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson was asked the question on his thoughts on other schools coming to grab student-athletes from the conference.
His answer was blunt and simple:

We will play again, and to the extent that others think there is an opportunity to essentially come and recruit our players then we would say ‘hey, have at it’. We are not going to change what is important to us,  which is protecting our student-athletes, worried about whether others want to come and try and try to entice our student-athletes away. We think out student-athletes will appreciate that we have done what is in their best interests, short, and long term.

 

This could have some potential of getting shaky if student-athletes decide they want to move on elsewhere for the season.

Conferences like the SEC and ACC are still open and playing this season, but that is still up for debate between those conferences at the moment.

Commissioner of the Pac-12 Larry Scott knows the cancellation of the season is ultimately still up to them.

“Everyone is going to make their independent decisions,” Larry Scott said, towards the end of the webinar. “We certainly respect our colleagues. We have been trying to very collaborative, communicative with our peers across the county, but at the end of the day, our president and chancellors look at what the best interest of  Pac-12 student-athletes. This is uncharted territory,  and this is a very unique year. It will get better in time.”

The NCAA has to ultimately decide if the players are able to have immediate eligibility following the cancellation of their season.

And frankly, the students have a good argument for the NCAA to potentially make that happen with no fall sports now.

Even if immediate eligibility did happen, certainly don’t expect every single player in the Pac-12 to make a move.

In order to accept a transfer, a school must have room in its recruiting class and on its roster. 

By this point in the year, most schools are just about out of the room.  They might find a way to take a player or two if this situation did happen, but you won’t see hundreds of August and September transfers finding their way to the field of play this fall regardless of what the NCAA decides. 

The Pac-12, as well as the Big 10, hopes to resume sports competition in spring 2021, but have not announced any specific plans.

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