Pac-12 to allow nonconference football games
The Pac-12 said Thursday it will allow member schools to play a nonconference opponent in the final weeks of the season if a conference game is canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Pac-12 is committed to maintaining maximum flexibility to provide our football student-athletes with an opportunity to compete, while continuing to ensure that health and safety remains our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
For that to happen, however, certain conditions must be met:
–The nonconference opponent must match or surpass the Pac-12 testing and other protocols, which include weekly PCR and daily antigen testing.
–The games must be home games for the Pac-12 and broadcast by a conference television partner.
–The nonconference team must agree to cancel the game if a conference opponent becomes available by the end of the day on the Thursday before the scheduled game.
Since beginning its abbreviated six-game season on Nov. 7, the conference has been forced to cancel five games. Last week, when UCLA and California each saw their opponents unable to play because of COVID-19, the Pac-12 scrambled and scheduled a game between the two programs.
This week, an outbreak at Arizona State caused the cancellation of the Sun Devils’ game against Colorado.
Colorado athletic director Rick George said the Buffaloes won’t schedule a non-conference game on short notice for this weekend but would consider a nonconference opponent in the future with more time to prepare.
“However, in the future if a similar instance arises, it would give us more time to prepare, but for now, we want to concentrate on game preparations for the USC game next Saturday in Los Angeles,” George said in a statement.
–Field Level Media