Pac-12 to play only conference football games in 2020
Jul 12 2020
"You know, just appreciate our families and I'm sure it's the same for my other 13 brothers here in the Big Ten with their teams".
Before the announcement, IU football was scheduled to play three nonconference opponents this upcoming season: Western Kentucky University, Ball State University and the University of CT.
One of the reasons the Pac-12 made a decision to push back the start of the football season was a concern that UCLA and USC would not be ready to play in early September because of coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles area, sources told ESPN.
He met with the Big Ten Network on Thursday on the heels of an announcement that the Big Ten will play conference only games this fall. Scheduling details for those sports will be released at a later date, while those not listed will continue to be evaluated.
"By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic", the league said in a statement.
The cancellation of the NCAA Tournament left the NCAA $375 million short in revenue scheduled to be paid to its member schools and the pandemic has continued to exacerbate financial shortcomings with many schools facing a drop in tuition revenue and lower attendance.
"Pac-12 student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the coming academic 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", the statement said.
Much of the pain will be felt at smaller schools that lean heavily on the big-money games to help fund their athletic budgets. Prior to Lubbock, the Wildcats have an early conference game against Stanford in Tucson on September 12.
That eliminates NIU's scheduled games at Maryland Sept. 12 and at Iowa Sept. 26.
Oklahoma is now set to begin their season against Missouri State on September 5, but is exploring moving that up one week to allow for testing between games. "We have no doubt it will look, feel and act differently than we have become accustomed to over time". "If you reduce beyond that, what's the point of conducting the sport in the fall?"