TEMPE, AZ — The Pac-12 announced Friday that many fall sports, including football, will play conference-only games for the upcoming season.
ASU football loses out on home games against NAU and BYU, as well as a road game at UNLV. Instead, the Sun Devils, as it stands now, now kick off the season September 26 at USC, a game that could have some serious Pac-12 South implications right off the bat.
The University of Arizona football team was scheduled to host Hawaii in week zero, Portland State the following week and then travel to Texas Tech two weeks after that. Prior to Lubbock, the Wildcats have an early conference game against Stanford in Tucson on September 12.
The move also includes men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball among others.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”
The Pac-12 says that student-athletes who choose not to participate in sports during the coming year because of safety concerns about COVID-19, “will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.”
It’s unclear if additional conference games will be added to fill gaps in schedules or if dates will be changed to allow for a shorter season. The Pac-12 says details on conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.
Ray Anderson, Vice President for Arizona State University Athletics, released the following statement:
"Arizona State University and Sun Devil Athletics support the Pac-12’s announcement of a strictly conference schedule for the 2020 football and fall sports seasons. We will continue to seek the guidance and input from medical and infectious disease experts, as well as our local and campus health officials and doctors as we evaluate this ever-changing landscape. Most importantly, we will continue to focus on the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff at the forefront of all we do."