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Larry Scott: Have High Degree Of Confidence We Will Be Playing In January

PAC12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks to the media during PAC12 Media Days on July 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is very confident that the conference will be playing football by January.

This comes off of the recent news on Thursday that the Pac-12 has partnered up with Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic test leader, in order to carry out daily COVID-19 tests for its student-athletes that participate in “all close-contact sports.”

The commissioner talked about that “groundbreaking” announcement and more on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning.

“Right now, I’ve got a high degree of confidence that we’ll be playing in January,” Scott told Patrick. “It’s possible because of this announcement that we could play sooner. I think the significance of yesterday’s announcement, having access to this testing, I can look you in the eye virtually and tell you that I have a high degree of confidence we’re playing, just on a postponed base. We are going to have a full and exciting season for our student-athletes. I shouldn’t say full as in playing 12 games, I think it will be abbreviated like it is in other conferences. What’s now also a possibility is that we could start earlier than January but that’s going to depend on some things outside of our control.”

Need Government Approval

Patrick asked Scott that if all goes well, will the Pac-12 be playing football in the fall.

“I believe we will be whether it’s in the fall or January 1 remains to be seen,” Scott said. “This isn’t unfortunately our only challenge. We have six schools currently, the four California schools (USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal) and two of our Oregon schools (Oregon and Oregon State) that currently don’t have government approvals to have contact practices. I know the approval has been given for pro sports but not for college sports. We’ll need some help from the counties, public health officials to bless this and say it’s okay.

“Now what I think what we announced yesterday (Thursday) will be an important piece of that. I think the public health officials are keenly interested of what our plans and protocols are so I am hopeful that we will get what we need,” Scott continued.

No Changes… Yet

The announcement on Thursday has not currently changed the status of the college football season. That could very well change.

“It could,” Scott mentioned. “It doesn’t yet. We don’t have government approvals yet. If we can get the government approvals and implement this testing, certainly we could. For basketball, it looks like the NCAA is going to change the start date for the basketball season from November 10 to probably November 25 or later so that’s probably the first decision we gotta take and we revisit the decision not to play basketball before January 1 and maybe start the season at the same date or close to when the rest of the country is. And then on a parallel path, we’ve got a weigh up does it make sense to start the football season in late November, early December or does it make sense to get through finals for the student-athletes, get through the Christmas holidays and start in January.

“One of our considerations is gonna be trying to move with the Big Ten if we can,” Scott stated. “It’s a little unclear where they are and what they are going to do despite talking to the commissioner (Kevin Warren) everyday. If the two of our conferences can move together, we’ve got pretty exciting vision of playing Big Ten/Pac-12 seasons, finishing with a Pac-12 Championship, Big Ten Championship and then playing the Rose Bowl and other bowl games at the end of the season, even if it’s and early spring game.”

On Twitter, Utah quarterback Jake Bentley was pleased by the comments made by Larry Scott on the Dan Patrick Show.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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