Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer claimed that the city's stay-at-home order will be extended three months through July "with all certainty", per the Los Angeles Times. The county has suffered more than 1,300 deaths due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom provided guidelines for the re-opening of counties across the state.

Now one day later, the Pac-12 conference has released a statement responding to California's announcement and its impact on the decision to resume NCAA athletics. 

The Pac-12 and our member universities will make our own determinations on when our student-athletes can return to play and when and how campuses will reopen to students. These decisions will be based first and foremost on the health and well-being of all those connected to the Pac-12, and informed by the advice of public health and medical experts along with state and local governmental orders. Every day we are learning new and important information that will inform our decisions, and we believe that there is a great benefit to having as much relevant data as possible before making such decisions.

One-third of the conference resides in California with Stanford and California in the Bay Area and USC and UCLA in Los Angeles. 

 

On Monday, USC head coach Clay Helton said the conference is considering playing 11 conference games, eliminating all non-conference opponents. 

"That is one of the many structures as we go through this situation and this crisis, the possibility of an all-conference schedule," Helton said.

According to ESPN's Paul Finebaum, Alabama and TCU are in discussions to play each other rather than scheduled games against USC and California due to a belief that neither Pac-12 school will be ready to play. Currently, Alabama and USC are scheduled to begin their seasons at AT&T Stadium on September 5th and TCU was going to travel to Berkeley, Calif. on the same date.

"There’s already scrambling going on," Finebaum said. "Alabama plays Southern Cal in the first game of the season at (AT&T Stadium), and there’s already talk going on between Alabama and TCU about meeting instead of the other two because TCU plays at Berkeley and the California schools, they do not believe, will be available for that date.”

Last week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown advised that "all large gatherings should be cancelled or significantly modified through at least September" which would interfere with Oregon hosting Ohio State on September 12th. 

"Concerts, conventions, festivals, live audience sports won’t be possible until a reliable treatment or prevention is available," said Brown. "It is unknown at this time when this will be. Therefore, all large gatherings should be cancelled or significantly modified through at least September. Further guidance on large gatherings scheduled for later in the fall will be provided this summer."

Later that same day, Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes reassured that the Beavers will be playing football during the 2020-21 academic school year but in what capacity and during which months remains uncertain.

“We’re all modelling various scenarios because the times are so uncertain," said Barnes. "We’re certainly respectful of the governor’s commitment to the health of Oregonians and in alignment with our commitment to the health of our student-athletes, fans and our local community. Certainly not playing football in September has significant impact.

"One scenario we are not working on is not playing football."

Listen to Geoff Schwartz on the latest episode of the Talkin' Ducks podcast here.