On Thursday, Pac-12 presidents voted on the return of conference football for the 2020 season.
The seven-game season will be played with no fans and is slated to begin in November.
The regular season will be followed by a Pac-12 Championship game on December 18.
Friday morning, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott joined Dan Sheldon and Nigel Burton on Rip City Radio’s Rip City Mornings.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott https://t.co/5ZRAf3lgdA
— Rip City Radio 620 (@RipCityRadio620) September 25, 2020
First things first:
When will the schedule be released?
“That’s going to be released soon… It will be next week,” Scott explained as he added that they are still working through television details right now.
Commissioner Scott also explained that there have been a lot of challenges with wildfires along the West Coast and health protocols in Oregon and California.
He also added that health and safety has been the conference’s mantra.
Scott mentioned that there were plenty of ‘robust’ discussions between the schools, especially when it came to how long they would need to prepare for a season.
“There was a robust debate amongst our 12 schools," Scott told Dan and Nigel. “Everyone agreed that if we follow the NCAA guidance, six-weeks would be sufficient to get our teams up to speed.”
And then there was this question:
If the Big 10 hadn’t made the decision to return to play, would the Pac-12 be returning this fall?
“There were a bunch of things that had to come together. Certainly it was a factor… But the more important factors were – did our leadership feel comfortable moving forward? And that required getting access to daily testing because that was clear advice we were getting from our medical advisors,” Scott said.
Simply put, football doesn’t happen in the Pac-12 without the daily testing and screening plan that has been put into place with public health officials along the West Coast.
Scott mentioned that the expectation is that daily testing will be next.
As for expanding the College Football Playoff, that’s not really on the table right now because of the unique circumstances.
"There has been a small amount of discussion but there’s not much support for that,” Scott said. “Everyone wants to keep the [current] format and finish on time if we can.”
Scott also confirmed that through the football season, or at least until January, the Pac-12 will not have fans in the stands.
But throughout the process of making a 2020 football season happen, the Pac-12 commissioner has been pleased to see how schools have been able to come together.
“I’m actually quite proud of how this process has rolled out,” Scott said. “The fact that we had a unanimous decision to move forward… We’re very aligned, speaking with one voice."
Listen to the entire interview with Larry Scott on Rip City Mornings right here.
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