As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the sports world, the Pac-12 Conference made a decision on Friday regarding the play of fall sports in the 2020-21 athletic season.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and the Pac-12 CEO Group announced the conference’s intent to have athletic teams play conference-only schedules to try and minimize the spread and transmission of COVID-19.
Scott himself, recently tested positive for the virus after displaying flu-like symptoms. He is self-quarantining at his home in California while working remotely.
At ASU, the measure will affect football, volleyball, and soccer. The Pac-12 also made the shift in the schedules shortly after the Big Ten made the same decision. Other athletic conferences such as the Ivy League have recently shut down their fall sports altogether.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Scott in a statement from the Pac-12. “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.”
According to the statement, the conference still intends to try and play an athletic season while abiding by strict Coronavirus guidelines and regulations.
Athletes who elect not to participate out of their own safety or concerns will have their scholarships honored and they will be in “good standing” with their respective sports.
In football, ASU’s non-conference games included matchups against Northern Arizona, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and Brigham Young University (BYU).
NAU and BYU were set to be home games at Sun Devil Stadium, while the meeting with UNLV was originally scheduled to be played at Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the National Football League’s Las Vegas Raiders.
With no non-conference play, ASU’s opening game in football wouldn’t be until Sep. 26 when the Sun Devils go on the road to take on USC. However, that conference schedule and starting date is subject to change over the next few weeks.