PAC-12 postpones all sports until at least Jan. 1
BOULDER, Colo. (CU Athletics Release) - The Pac-12 Conference CEO group of presidents and chancellors voted unanimously on Tuesday to postpone all fall sports seasons, as well as the start of winter sports seasons, until January 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the University of Colorado, competition in football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball has thus been suspended. The Pac-12 also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021. Also affected are the cross-over sports that compete in both the fall and spring semesters, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf and women’s tennis.
Other CU winter sports that will be affected but don’t start competing until January are men’s and women’s indoor track and men’s and women’s skiing.
A decision will be made in the coming days about practice schedules for each of CU’s fall sports; camps were scheduled to begin this Saturday for soccer and volleyball and Monday for football.
“The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors reached the decision today that we felt was best for the health and safety of our student-athletes,” CU chancellor Phil DiStefano said. “We know the postponement of competition is painful for our fans, alumni, donors and, most of all, our student-athletes who have worked so hard to prepare for the season under extremely difficult circumstances. Intercollegiate sports are woven into the fabric of our campus life and Buff pride, and they provide us a common shared experience that unites our student body, fans and alumni from around the world.
“We made this decision today, however, with the long-term well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and campus communities top of mind,” he continued. “As we have said since March, we will navigate this difficult time as Buffs together. We look forward to the day we can once again rally behind our student-athletes as they return to competition, while continuing to support each of them as the scholars, holistic individuals and future leaders they are.”
Since intercollegiate athletics were first created at CU in 1890, this marks the first time an entire fall schedule in any sport has been postponed, much less for 10 programs. In school history, there have been several delays on occasion as with the Spanish Flu in 1918 that forced the football season to begin in mid-November, and due to World War II, there was no competition in basketball for the 1942-43 and 1943-44 seasons, no baseball in 1944 and no wrestling for four years (1943-46).
“The decision to postpone the fall sports seasons and to delay the start of the winter ones was not made in haste – but in light of current virus trends and the long term health impacts of COVID-19 remaining unknown, this was determined to be the best course of action for the health and safety of our student-athletes,” George said. “That has always been and will remain our top priority. We are hopeful that the situation reaches a point where we can have our winter sports start at the first of the year, and perhaps play a modified fall sports schedule in the spring.”
“We are committed to continuing to provide our student-athletes with academic support, access to medical care, comprehensive mental health resources, sport performance and nutritional support, as well as access to leadership and career development programming,” George continued. “These areas are critical for maintaining the world class and holistic experiences we always strive to provide. We cannot let this time in history derail all of the incredible work and progress that we have been able to achieve in these areas.”
CU was already set to cancel events around the game such as Living Legends Weekend, Homecoming and Family Weekend due to health concerns, and there will be no on-campus event this fall that would have celebrated Michael Westbrook’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this December.
The Big Ten Conference also announced Tuesday that it has postponed all of its fall sports seasons, joining the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West. In addition, two FBS independents, the University of Massachusetts Tuesday joined the University of Connecticut, in announcing it would not play football this fall. As of Tuesday afternoon, that brings the total to 52 of the 130 FBS programs that will look toward the possibility playing football in the spr
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