Pac-12 Also Reverses College Football Decision, Will Now Begin Season in November

The NCAA’s Pac-12 conference is on once again, following the Big Ten’s lead to reverse their decision to not participate in college football this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pac-12 will begin the season on Nov. 6 with a shortened seven-game schedule leading up to the conference championship in December, they announced in a Thursday statement. Teams may begin practicing immediately “with the necessary public health approvals.”

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports remains our guiding light and number one priority,” Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Oregon President Michael Schill said in the statement. “Our CEO Group has taken a measured and thoughtful approach to today’s decision, including extensive consultation with stakeholders on the evolving information and data related to health and safety.”

Though football games will resume, no fans will be allowed in the stands for any sporting events in the Pac-12, a decision that will be revisited in January.

The conference consists of the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and Washington State University.

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Pac-12 first announced the cancellation of their football season in August, right after the Big Ten did the same. However, the Big Ten reversed on their decision last week, announcing that its council voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24.

In a press release, the Big Ten said they've "adopted significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition."

“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” Dr. Jim Borchers, head team physician at The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee, said in the release.

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