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Oregon Governor Grants Ducks, Beavers Exemption, Clears Path For College Football

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Oregon Governor Kate Brown granted exemption to the University of Oregon and Oregon State University to the OHA’s sports guidance.

This is one of the hurdles that has been cleared in order for the Pac-12 to begin their football season. According to conference commissioner Larry Scott, both Oregon and California governments prohibited contact practices, which impacted half of the Pac-12.

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom told Scott that nothing in their guidelines are preventing the four Pac-12 schools from practicing. Later on Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Bowen released the following statement that was sent by her spokesperson Charles Boyle:

“Governor Brown today is meeting with firefighters, first responders, and members of the incident management teams who have been on the frontlines working to save Oregonian lives and homes from the devastation of wildfires,” Bowen said. “Representatives of the University of Oregon and Oregon State University athletic departments met with the Oregon Health Authority this afternoon to discuss their COVID-19 health and safety plans for their football teams.

“The universities have asked for an exemption to OHA’s (Oregon Health Authority) sports guidance, just as Oregon’s professional sports team have been given,” Bowen added. “We have granted that request, and, under the new guidance, OHA must receive written plans for approval. (The full language of the guidance is below.)

“Let me stress that, up to this point, we have received no written plans from the Pac-12 for the upcoming season, and we have no details from the conference about their rapid testing proposal,” Bowen continued. “Until we have those details, we can’t move forward in the process. We want Oregon and Oregon State’s players to be able to focus on football while protecting their health and safety. We also want to ensure that team practices will not be derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak that would threaten the health not only of the players and coaches, but their university communities and the wider communities in Eugene and Corvallis.”

Under the OHA Sports Exemption for Pac-12 Conference Institutions stated the following.

“Pac-12 Conference teams wishing to play in the State of Oregon must submit protocols to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Governor’s office to ensure training, competition and play aligns with all public health guidance and county phase requirements. Training, competition and play cannot resume until protocols are reviewed and approved by the Governor’s office and OHA,” the statement read. “Pac-12 Conference sports that are practiced and played within the State of Oregon are exempt from all other sports guidance issued, including the Statewide Collegiate, Semi-Professional, aand Minor League Sports, Limited Return to Play guidance.

“Pac-12 Conference sports teams are expected to adhere to the standards developed by each of their leagues around practice, playing, contact tracing, testing, quarantine and any other applicable area of consideration, including protocols approved by OHA and Governor’s Office,” the statement continued. “Pac-12 Conference sports events that are played in Oregon must comply with the OHA Phase Two Reopening Guidance – Venue and Event Operators.”

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.