On August 11, the Pac-12 joined the Ivy League by announcing their decision to postpone all fall and winter sports until January 1, 2021, at the earliest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported by Jon Wilner of the Mercury News, the Pac-12 could reconsider this decision.
Breaking: #Pac12 open to reconsidering Jan 1 start date for basketball, per sources, but ... (there are several buts)https://t.co/Mp7WZgh39f— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) August 27, 2020
Currently, the NCAA is deciding between four dates for the start of the 2020-2021 college basketball season. All four dates are in 2020, but if the chosen date is closer to January, then the Pac-12 could switch their decision.
However, the latest date up for consideration is Dec. 4, which is about a month before the earliest start date for the Pac-12.
According to CBS Sports, the Division I Council is set to vote on Sept. 16 to decide which of the four dates to choose.
The current plan for the Pac-12 basketball season is to start the season in January that could showcase weekend pods to make up for the delayed start. The weekend pods would feature two sets of travel partners converging at a single site for multiple games.
Before any reconsideration would occur, certain conditions have to be met.
One of the conditions is that the conference wants evidence, proving a decrease in community spread and advances in testing that would provide results the same day.
The conference medical team believes that players should be tested within 24 hours before competition, ensuring no asymptomatic players are on the court.
However, the current testing measures don’t yield results within 24 hours. It usually takes 24-36 hours.
There are two antigen tests available. One of those texts could yield results within an hour, but these tests are not readily available to the conferences medical staff.
The other test was announced on Wednesday by the FDA, who issued an emergency-use authorization to Abbott Lab’s for a test that would yield results in 15 minutes.
The lab hopes to have 50 millions test available per month by October, costing $5 per test.
There are two issues with that test. The first issues is that there is not enough tests to fill the needs of the athletic departments. The second issue is that the athletic departments would not be high enough on the list for this resource.
The Pac-12 basketball working group presented a six week ramp up time for programs before the season, which includes four weeks of practice and two weeks of strength and conditioning, meaning that the window for these conditions to be met is not as wide as one would think.
These conditions have to be met within the timeline for the six week ramp up, which can hurt the chances of reconsideration, but the option remains open. Only time will tell for the Pac-12 as they continue to shuffle things around for sports in 2020 and 2021.