SALT LAKE CITY — With all the excitement over the Big Ten's decision to return to play in October, many are now turning their attention to the Pac-12.
However, despite the medical breakthroughs mentioned by the Big Ten that will allow the conference to play, there are other obstacles in the way of a Pac-12 return this season.
The Pac-12 will be the only major Power Five conference to sit out this season if plans are not changed. But as of right now, two states that contain half the conference schools have not allowed a return to the field.
In addition, some Pac-12 school locations are dealing with fires that have created unsafe healty conditions due to poor air quality.
“At this time, our universities in California and Oregon do not have approval from state or local public health officials to start contact practice." said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. "We are hopeful that our new daily testing capability can help satisfy public health official approvals in California and Oregon to begin contact practice and competition."
"We are equally closely monitoring the devastating fires and air quality in our region at this time. We are eager for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to play this season, as soon as it can be done safely and in accordance with public health authority approvals.”
Creating a safe environment for players and staff among COVID-19 and fire issues may be too much for the Pac-12 too handle in a short period of time.