SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 Conference, which includes the University of Utah Utes, will return to the football field this season. Basketball and all other winter sports will also resume their seasons.
The conference football teams will start a 7-game season on Nov. 6, with a title game being played on Dec. 18. No fans will be allowed to attend any games.
Despite the small number of games, conference teams will be allowed to be considered for the College Football Playoff. Other reports say there will be no restrictions for bowl games, meaning all teams are allowed to participate no matter their records.
Pac-12 officials believe recent improvements in testing make it possible to play sports in the fall. Student-athletes will be administered one antigen test each week and all positive cases will be confirmed with a PCR test.
“From the beginning of this crisis, our focus has been on following the science, data and counsel of our public health and infectious disease experts,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our agreement with Quidel to provide daily rapid-results testing has been a game-changer in enabling us to move forward with confidence that we can create a safe environment for our student-athletes while giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At the same time, we will continue to monitor health conditions and data and be ready to adjust as required in the name of the health of all.”
As far as football, the Salt Lake Tribune reports teams that do not make the championship game will still play on Dec. 18, but against teams in the opposite division with the same divisional standing.
Men's and women's basketball season will begin Nov. 25 with schedules released in the future. Other winter sports such as wrestling, women's gymnastics, and swimming & diving teams will practice when local health officials provide proper guidance.
The move comes over a month after the PAC-12 said it would postpone all sports until January due to COVID-19. The Big Ten reversed its course last week after initially saying it would not hold a fall football season.