College football continues to grapple with the coronavirus. A day after the Big Ten became the first Power 5 conference to announce it will only play conference games, the Pac-12 revealed it will also limit its fall sports to conference-only slates.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott recently indicated moving the football season to the spring was a scenario he has discussed with the other commissioners of the Power 5 conferences. For now, the Pac-12 will settle on a format that removes nonconference games from its football season.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” Scott said. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”
It would seem the other Power 5 leagues — the ACC, Big 12 and SEC — will need to join the Big Ten and Pac-12 in eliminating nonconference contests from their respective schedules. For the Pac-12, Friday’s decision will delay the start to its fall sports calendar. Mandatory football workouts will be moved back.
The NFL has not announced a change to its July 28 training camp start dates. But with the virus continuing to spread at a record pace in the country, and key issues between the league and the NFLPA unresolved less than two weeks before rookies would report, it is safe to say a delay to players’ report dates is in play.
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