With college football underway and the Big Ten’s recent decision to start in late October, the Pac 12’s season still remains in the air but an update from the commissioner came Wednesday.
Pac-12 officials met yesterday and heard statements from Governor Gavin Newsome of California and Governor Kate Brown of Oregon. The conference was informed by these state officials that there are no restrictions on contact practices. This is an important step for a return to play as only six teams were allowed to practice before Wednesday.
Statement from Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on positive developments from governors of California and Oregon: pic.twitter.com/bZVuGT6vuW
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) September 16, 2020
When could the season start?
The next step for the Pac-12 is for schools to get specific guidelines from local health officials. In wake of Scott’s statement, USC and UCLA’s athletic directors united in seeking clarity from L.A. County about returning to practice. All that is needed is for the Pac-12 to sign off on a return-to-play.
Like the Big Ten, it seems ever more clear that the Pac-12 will reverse the original course of not playing football this fall. It’s only a matter of time and putting the logistics together. Reports say that Commissioner Scott is “going to push the envelope” and get play started as soon as possible.
A source with knowledge of the discussions told me that with clearance at the local level in Cali and Oregon, it’s possible the Pac-12 can return as soon as late October.
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) September 17, 2020
The Pac-12 working group had a phone call today while the Pac-12 CEO group is scheduled to meet tomorrow. Today’s conversation was effective and the hope is that narrative will continue tomorrow.
Source: The Pac-12 football working group had a call today. A vast majority of the programs indicated they could be ready to play in six weeks or less if they could start the ramp to games on Monday.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 17, 2020
For fans, now the waiting game starts. It could be a couple of days before any more major news on the subject breaks or it could be a couple of hours.
One thing for sure, the players are ready to get back to football and that showed at USC. Led by quarterback Kedon Slovis, the players took to social media express their interest in playing.
@gavinnewsom We have sat by for two weeks watching teams across the country play the game we love safely. Most schools have a fraction of the resources that our school and conference have provided to play safely. You are the only thing holding us back. Please #LetUsPlay . pic.twitter.com/au4JZ5PNbz
— Kedon Slovis (@Kedonslovis) September 15, 2020
Another major factor to consider is the conferences’ ability to have a team in the College Football Playoff. With a late start to the season, will the CFP Committee factor this into their decision or delay their initial rankings and playoff dates. Like the start of the season in the Pac-12, only time will tell.