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NCAA Jul 11, 2020

Pac-12 becomes latest NCAA conference to alter plans for fall soccer season

The Pac-12 is the latest NCAA Division I conference to announce changes for the upcoming fall sports season.

Men’s and women’s soccer programs in the Pac-12 will only play games against fellow conference opponents in 2020, significantly reducing travel and operating costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Pac-12 is delaying the start of mandatory athletic activities until further notice.

Details on the conference-only schedules and on updated start dates will be announced by the end of July.

Athletes who choose not to participate in the 2020 season due to health and safety concerns will continue to have their athletic scholarships honored by their universities, and will remain in good standing with their teams.

Other major NCAA Division I conferences that have already made changes for the fall season include the ACC (delayed until Sept. 1), Big Ten (conference-only schedule) and the Ivy League (cancelled season).

See below for the full announcement from the Pac-12 CEO Group:

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 CEO Group announced today that the fall season for several Pac-12 sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, would schedule Conference-only games, and that it is delaying the start of mandatory athletic activities, until a series of health and safety indicators, which have recently trended in a negative direction, provided sufficient positive data to enable a move to a second phase of return-to-play activities. The CEO Group made clear that it hopes to play football and all other fall sports provided that it can meet the health and safety needs of its student-athletes and obtain appropriate permissions from state and local health authorities.  Today’s decision will result in the start dates for the impacted sports being delayed. The decision is effective immediately across all Pac-12 member universities and was made following a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group earlier today.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “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.”

“Competitive sports are an integral part of the educational experience for our student-athletes, and we will do everything that we can to support them in achieving their dreams while at the same time ensuring that their health and safety is at the forefront,” said Michael Schill, Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and President of the University of Oregon.

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.

The Pac-12 has developed a series of potential fall sport scheduling models including Conference-only schedules and delayed season starts. Details on Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.