The Pac-12 is hurtling towards a major coverage reversal after the athletic administrators agreed this week to permit nonconference video games if a league matchup is canceled due to COVID-19 points, based on a number of sources with information of the discussions.
Nevertheless, the change requires approval from the presidents and chancellors, who had beforehand banned nonconference video games for the 2020 season.
The presidents mentioned the difficulty on Tuesday, sources stated, however it’s not recognized whether or not a vote was taken.
The power to play nonconference video games would assist fill vacancies if an odd variety of groups are wholesome sufficient to compete in a given week.
The Pac-12 has already canceled 5 video games, largely due to outbreaks at Utah and Arizona State.
“It doesn’t imply we are going to play one,’’ a supply stated of the nonconference possibility. “We simply need that flexibility.”
Presently, there may be none.
Most groups had been ready to open the season on Oct. 31, however as a result of a number of California faculties wanted extra time, the presidents established Nov. 7 because the conference-wide restart date — two weeks later than the Large Ten and even the Mountain West.
The will for unity resulted in a grasp schedule that featured six video games in six weeks previous to the convention championship recreation on Dec. 18.
In different phrases: The one window for make-up dates is Dec. 19 — the day after the championship.
Add the ban on nonconference video games, and treasured Saturdays have the potential to slide away if an opponent can not play.
“It’s worrying for those who don’t have someone,’’ a supply stated. “What if three groups are out?”
Or what it one workforce is ignored, which could possibly be the case this week.
Colorado is presently in limbo after the cancellation of its recreation at ASU. If the opposite 5 matchups are performed as scheduled, the Buffaloes could be wholesome however haven’t any opponent.
Except they may step exterior the convention.
“That’s undoubtedly on the desk,” a supply stated, “particularly the place it geographically or traditionally is smart.”
Along with the lack of competitors, an idle week for any workforce probably would imply a lack of income for the convention.
Every recreation televised by ESPN or Fox is price roughly $5 million — or about $425,000 per college.
The quantity paid for a nonconference recreation may range, however it could be substantial for athletic departments feeling the affect of the shortened season and no ticket gross sales.
“We would like most flexibility for our faculties,’’ stated a supply, who added that the athletic administrators had been unified on the matter. “The group was very supportive.”
Will their bosses agree?
Together with their friends within the Large Ten, the Pac-12’s presidents and chancellors voted in early July to play a conference-only season.
On the time, they had been involved that variations in health-and-safety requirements throughout conferences may place Pac-12 groups in danger if opponents didn’t have ample protocols in place.
These variations stay: Every convention has its personal requirements.
Nevertheless, the entry to every day antigen testing, which wasn’t foreseen in July, tremendously reduces the danger.
As well as, there aren’t any recognized situations — wherever — of on-field transmission of the virus, based on Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer.
“We have now seen zero proof of transmission player-to-player on the sector, both throughout video games or practices, which I feel is a crucial and highly effective assertion,’’ Sills informed Sports activities Illustrated final week.
“And it additionally confirms what different sports activities leagues have discovered world wide. We commonly talk with World Rugby, Australian guidelines soccer, European soccer leagues.
“So far, nobody has documented a case of player-to-player transmission in a subject sporting atmosphere.”
The nonconference possibility may add a layer of complexity to the Pac-12 schedule, nonetheless.
For instance, what if Colorado agreed to play a nonconference recreation, however a second Pac-12 matchup was canceled the following day — leaving the wholesome workforce with out an opponent.
To account for that chance, sources stated, stipulations could possibly be constructed into the agreements permitting Pac-12 groups to again out with out penalty.
Nonconference video games aren’t the one matter of debate between the athletic administrators and convention workplace, based on sources.
They’re additionally inspecting how the Pac-12 will prioritize matchups if an odd variety of groups want video games.
Once more, the difficulty is greatest conveyed with an instance:
At one level late final week, Cal wanted a recreation (as a result of ASU couldn’t play), UCLA wanted a recreation (Utah couldn’t play) and Washington was involved it could have a gap due to participant quarantine points at Oregon State.
In the end, the Beavers had been capable of make the journey to Seattle. However had they canceled, how would the convention have chosen which of the three wholesome groups (Washington, UCLA or Cal) wouldn’t compete.
A number of sources stated desire must be given to division video games.
Within the instance above, Cal and Washington probably would have been paired, with UCLA left with out an opponent.
Nevertheless, there isn’t a official convention coverage on the difficulty. And it would keep that manner.
“We plan to take care of the place of most flexibility for convention workplace scheduling selections,’’ a supply stated.
“The timing of cancellations, along with a myriad of operations knowledge, will play figuring out elements in any state of affairs with three groups out there to play attributable to recreation cancellations.”