‘College sports cannot operate in a bubble’: Pac-12 cancels fall sports

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Oregon’s Travis Dye, left, breaks for a big gain against Colorado in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pac-12 has decided to cancel fall sports, including the college football season, until at least 2021.

The unanimous decision was announced Tuesday afternoon, and came shortly after the Big Ten conference announced it was postponing all fall sports due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, adding that the Pac-12 “would consider” bringing back impacted sports after Jan. 1, 2021 if “conditions improve.”

“Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday.

Among the concerns the conference cited were too many COVID-19 hotspots to ensure safe travel for student-athletes, unknowns about the longterm health impact of the novel coronavirus and not enough testing capacity to ensure the safety of all.

Oregon State’s Dr. Doug Auckerman specifically cited “emerging data about cardiac effects of COVID.”

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“We want to play in the worst way, but not at the risk of health and safety,” Arizona State University Vice President Ray Anderson said during Tuesday’s press conference.

Scott added that scholarships will stay guaranteed for student-athletes and that the conference was “strongly encouraging the NCAA to grant them an extra year of eligibility.”

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