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Pac-12 Targeting Fall Sports Return In ‘Middle To Late November’

Utah Utes fans gesture as a player shoots a free throw during a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament against the Oregon Ducks at T-Mobile Arena on March 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ducks defeated the Utes 66-54. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahΒ – The Pac-12 is aggressively pursuing a return to the football field in middle to late November, according to a recent ESPN article.

The news comes following the Pac-12’s announcement regarding a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a company that produces and examines COVID-19 tests garnishing results as fast as 15 minutes.

The new testing systems will be on every Pac-12 campus by the end of September, the ESPN article states.

Hurdles On The Horizon

However, the Pac-12 season still has obstacles in its way if it does in fact intend on debuting in its season in November.

Currently, the states of Oregon and California still have restrictions that do not allow contact practice, let alone games, to take place. The restrictions are reprimanded by the government, the institutions within those states do not have the ability to overturn those rulings.

Furthermore, the new testing systems require training and the Pac-12 would need to allocate time to best ensure the safety and understanding of the testing systems. That will take time. Time is also required for the coaches and players to acclimatize to full-contact practices as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Acclimatization Period Required

The Pac-12 has stated in the past that it intends on allowing a 6-week period for teams to best prepare for upcoming games.

A few short weeks ago, the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott labeled the new testing systems a “game-changer” and hinted towards potentially beginning competitive games back before January 1, 2021. He also mentioned that the experiment regarding the new testing system will give him better clarity in three weeks.

It seems apparent that the experiment worked and the systems are on their way to college campuses.