The Pac-12 CEO Group today approved the 2020 Conference-only fall schedule for football, which features a 10-game slate and number of features designed to provide maximum flexibility. Additionally, the CEO Group approved competition start dates and preseason practice policies for Conference-only seasons for men’s & women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s & women’s cross country. Practice policies and competition in all cases are subject to the approval of public health authorities and medical advice.
Return-to-competition plans for each of these sports were determined following extensive consultation with the Pac-12’s Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes and those connected to Pac-12 sports is our number one priority, and we are prepared to adjust plans if the health situation changes. In addition, the Conference previously announced that 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.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to our athletic programs,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “The schedule and plans approved today and path to return to competition are subject to public health orders and will be taken in accordance with the health and well-being guidelines developed by our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environment that prioritizes safety. At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best available science, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions and any required adjustments going forward.”Following the Pac-12 CEO Group’s July 10 decision to move to a Conference-only football schedule, the Pac-12 today unveiled a 10-game Conference-only schedule (available below as well as on Pac-12.com) structured to maximize flexibility, including the following features:
Season to commence on September 26 (normally Week 4), with the flexibility if necessary to commence on a later date if the situation warrants;
Each team will play five home and five road games;
Games that are unable to be played on their scheduled date can be made up in their bye weeks or in Week 12 (December 12), with the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76®, now slated for December 18 or 19; and
The Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76®, will be held in a home-hosted model for 2020, with the Pac-12 and partners Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and MGM Resorts International agreeing to commence hosting of the Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in 2021 for its two-year run in Las Vegas in order to ensure a successful launch of the inaugural event.The later start to the season will allow for additional time for student-athletes to properly and safely prepare for the season, with the CEO Group approving a move to 20 hours of summer access mandatory activities beginning as early as August 3 followed by the start of training camp commencing as early as August 17, in all cases subject to allowance by public health orders and medical advice. The return to athletic competition for football and all other sports will follow the guidelines and protocols developed by the Pac-12’s Medical Advisory Committee, a summary of which can be found here: Guidelines & Protocols – Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee.
In addition to schedule parameters outlined above, the Pac-12 has also updated its tie-breaking procedures for determining division champions and Football Championship Game participants in accordance with the 2020 schedule. The full tie-breaker procedures for the Championship Game can be found here: 2020 Pac-12 Football Tie-Break Procedures.
Men’s & women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s & women’s cross-country
The Pac-12 CEO Group also approved Conference-only scheduling plans for men’s & women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s & women’s cross country, with competition to start no earlier than the weekend of September 26. The first permissible date of practice for these Conference-sponsored sports will be August 15. In all cases the Conference-only schedules to be developed will be designed to support health and safety, and maximize flexibility.