Pac-12 joins Big Ten by calling off fall sports — including football

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FILE – This Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, shows the Pac-12 logo during the second half of an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Kent State, in Tempe, Ariz. The Pac-12 has set Sept. 26 as the start of its 10-game conference-only football schedule. The Pac-12 announced three weeks ago it would eliminate nonconference games for its 12 member schools. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Pac-12 has joined the Big Ten Conference, voting to postpone fall sports for 2020 with an eye toward a Spring 2021 season, the conference announced on Tuesday.

The Pac-12 CEO Group voted unanimously to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year. The decision by the Pac 12 CEO’s was first reported by Stadium Network’s Brett McMurphy.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon, in a statement. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

The Pac-12 says all scholarships will be honored and “strongly encourages the NCAA to grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility.”

In the Big Ten’s announcement, commissioner Kevin Warren attributed the decision to postpone after guidance from the conference’s medical experts, saying “there are just too many uncertainties.”

In July, the Pac-12 followed the lead of the Big Ten when it initially opted for a conference-only schedule for fall sports.

The attention now turns directly toward the Big 12 Conference. In a meeting over the weekend, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Associated Press that no decision has been made.

The SEC and ACC are expected to practice patience before shelving the fall sports schedule. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said his conference would like to wait longer before making the call.

The Big 12 was the last “Power 5” conference to decide on an abbreviated upcoming football schedule. The Big 12 may be the swing vote when it comes to a college football season in 2020.

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