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By Morris Phillips and Michael Duca
BERKELEY–In what seems like no end in sight the Pac 12 group today voted to cancel all fall sports through the end of 2020 and will plan to resume play in the spring. This was given careful consideration after consulting with the Medical Advisory Committee and the athletic directors of each of the Pac 12 schools.
The committee made clear they were very concerned about practices that involved contact sports such as football. The Pac 12 said when they see that the virus has flattened in a safe way and that cases have gone to a safe number the conference will consider returning competitive sports with a target date of Jan 1, 2021.
Student athletes will have their scholarships guaranteed, the Pac 12 also is offering NCAA grant students who already have opted out of sports programs another year of eligibility for this school year. Those students will receive from their universities advisement and tutoring as support from canceled sports programs and their academic education.
University of Oregon president Michael H. Schill said that he along with students, coaches, and staff is disappointed that it had to come to this but Schill said putting safety is job number one, “All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Schill. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”
Cal Athletic director Jim Knowlton and Cal Chancellor Carol Christ put out a heartfelt statement knowing that this impacts students athletes who have worked all their school lives to get to this point only to see their season canceled under such pandemic circumstances, “We are aligned in our support for the Pac-12’s decision to postpone fall sports. While the decision was difficult, it is consistent with our shared commitment to the health and well-being of Cal’s student-athletes, coaches and staff. Our hearts go out to the student-athletes who will not have the opportunity to compete this fall. We are incredibly proud of how they have been navigating the disappointments and uncertainties surrounding their athletic pursuits, and we will do all that we can to support them during these difficult times. We look forward to the day when they will be able to, once again, train for and compete in the sports they love. We look forward to the day when we can, together with members of Cal’s extended family, once again cheer them on as they pursue excellence on the field of play.”
Morris Phillips and Michael Duca are beat writers and podcasters for Cal Football at http://www.sportsradioservice.com