Sound the alarms. Pac-12 football is officially back in 2020.
Who would have thought? After the biggest, most stressful game of ‘What will the Pac-12 do?’ since the college football season was in hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, we finally have an answer.
On Thursday, September 24, Pac-12 presidents voted on returning the football season in 2020. It was first reported by Jon Wilner:
Here is a timeline of events when this all began:
July 31: Pac-12 football releases conference-only schedule
August 11: The Pac-12 Conference postpones all sports competition through 2021. (Big Ten also votes to push fall sports until 2021; SEC, ACC, Big 12 will play in fall).
September 3: Pac-12 partners with Quidel Corporation to allow for rapid testing of COVID-19.
September 15: Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season
September 16: Oregon and California governors state that state regulations are not holding up football.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom denied that the state’s regulations were preventing the Pac-12 from holding games after Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement urging players to write to their state officials to lift government regulations that are slowing the conference’s ability to return.
September 16: Larry Scott issues statement regarding Oregon and California governors
Gov. Brown’s office laid out the exact language that will be needed from both OSU and Oregon in order to seek approval to get back on the field:
Pac-12 Conference teams wishing to play in the State of Oregon must submit protocols to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Governor’s office to ensure training, competition and play aligns with all public health guidelines and county phase requirements. Training, competition, and play cannot resume until protocols are reviewed and approved by the Governor’s office and OHA. Pac-12 Conference sports that are practiced and played within the state of Oregon are exempt from all other sports guidance issued, including the Statewide Collegiate, Semi Professional, and Minor League Sports, limited to Return to Play guidance. Pac-12 Conference sports teams are expected to adhere to the standards developed by each of their leagues around practice, playing, contact tracing, testing, quarantine, and any other applicable area of consideration.
September 17: Larry Scott says best case scenario is late October, early November for Pac-12 football
September 18: A meeting between Pac-12 presidents to hear proposed plan to return football in 2020.
September 24: Pac-12 presidents officially vote in favor of plan to play football in 2020.
Here is what we know comes next.
Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal has already called for his players to return to campus to begin a brief period of quarantine. Oregon State will do the same if players aren't already on campus. Then the testing provided by Quidel Corp. arrives in late September and for use on a daily basis by athletes in six contact sports: football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s water polo, and wrestling.
According to Brett McMurphy, the approximate start date for Pac-12 football is Friday, November 6.
It will consist of a 7-game season followed by a Pac-12 Championship game on December 18.
Another qualification for returning to the field is that all sporting events to be played in Oregon will have to have entered the OHA Phase Two of the Reopening Guidance plan.
But hey, Pac-12 football is back!