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Friday, September 24, 2021

Pac-12 Announces It Will Play College Football This Fall, Walking Back Previous Vote

The Pac-12 will resume play this fall, reversing a previous
decision to hold off on the season because of Covid-19.
Photo/Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Leah Asmelash Jill Martin, CNN

(CNN) — The Pac-12 Conference voted Thursday to return to play college football this fall.

Beginning November 6, each team in the Pac-12 will play seven conference-only games, with the championship game scheduled for December 18.

The votemarks a reversal from the conference’s previous stance, as it voted to postpone fall sports back in August, along with the Big Ten. The Big Ten, however, reversed that decision earlier this month, announcing it would begin play in October — leaving the Pac-12 as the only Power Five conference still postponing.

Still, the conference’s announcement comes while multiple college football games have been postponed because of Covid-19 concerns.

Among the Power Five conferences, the ACC and Big 12 have already restarted play, with the SEC set to follow Saturday. The Big Ten is scheduled to begin play the weekend of October 23 and 24.

The Pac-12 also announced that winter sports would resume, with men’s and women’s basketball beginning November 25. No fans will be allowed at any sporting competition taking place on Pac-12 campuses.

For other winter sports — wrestling, women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving — each university will determine when practice can start in accordance with local public health official guidance and the situation on campus.

And for other fall sports whose postseason championships were postponed by the NCAA this year until the spring, they will be conducted starting next January, with preparation and practice occurring during the fall as permitted by NCAA rules.

Last month, the NCAA head doctor, Dr. Brian Hainline, warned that continuing fall sports would be a challenge.

And this summer saw a number of Covid-19 outbreaks within college sports programs, along with studies that have found signs of inflammation of the heart muscle, known as myocarditis, in competitive athletes recovering from Covid-19.

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