Utah AD Mark Harlan Mentions In Letter That Fans Won’t Be Allowed To Attend Games

Sep 24, 2020, 5:51 PM | Updated: 8:10 pm
Mark Harlan - Utah Athletic Director...
University of Utah's new Athletics Director Mark Harlan leaves the field at Rice Eccles Stadium on Monday, June 4, 2018. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan wrote a message to fans that was posted on social media on Thursday evening.

He mentioned in his letter that fans will not allowed to attend football games this season. The Pac-12 announced that no fans will be permitted at any sporting competition taking place on Pac-12 campuses. That decision will be revisited based upon health and safety considerations in January 2021.

The message comes after the Pac-12 announced the resumption of football, basketball and winter sports.

“I am so happy for our student-athletes whose sports programs will now be able to return to play with today’s decisions by the Pac-12 CEO Group,” Harlan wrote. “This is an exciting day, and a real boost to the spirits of our entire department and our great fans. At every stage of this process, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff has been our highest priority, and the guidance of medical experts has informed each decision. We are grateful for the diligent work of the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, the game-changing partnership with Quidel, and the leadership of the Pac-12 CEO Group to continuously evaluate new information to reach the decisions announced today.

“All of our student-athletes and coaches have been working extremely hard to keep themselves prepared for the possibility of competition and they have been so disciplined in their adherence to our health and safety protocols,” the letter continued. “We will now finalize details of preseason preparations for our football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball programs. Football games will begin the weekend of Nov. 6-7, and men’s and women’s basketball competition will begin Nov. 25 in alignment with the NCAA basketball calendar.

“Our traditional Fall sports, including cross-country, soccer and volleyball, will continue to prepare for spring competition, consistent with the Pac-12 decision to align with NCAA Championships scheduling, and our winter and spring sports continue to train and prepare for their seasons,” Harlan wrote. “We are fully prepared to host football games at Rice-Eccles Stadium this fall while construction continues on the Ken Garff Performance Zone. When the decision was made to proceed with the demolition of the Spence Clark Football Center in August, we thoroughly considered the implications of potential home football games in the stadium, and suitable contingency plans are being prepared for team locker rooms and all other game-related operations.

“As part of today’s announcement, the decision was made by the Conference that there will be no fans at any athletic competitions until Jan. 1, 2021,” the letter continued. “We understand and respect the health and safety considerations that were taken into account to arrive at this conference-wide decision. Our fans make home games something truly special and we will miss their presence this Fall.

“Finally, I want to thank all of our tremendous Utah Utes fans who have remained so committed through very challenging times. Your support is critical, and we look forward to the day when we are able to gather again and watch our teams compete for the University of Utah. We will continue to rely upon every one of you for all of your support, and we sincerely thank you.”

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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