Full Power 5 in 2020? Pac-12 reportedly has date targeted to return to action
There is a chance — possibly slim — that every Power 5 conference could return to action this year. The Pac-12 would need to make up a lot of ground as it appears to be the major conference with the most work to do to return to action.
The Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return plan is currently targeting mid-to-late November, according to a source familiar with the league’s discussions, ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported.
The Pac-12 has a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of FDA-approved rapid tests that will allow the league to test its student-athletes daily for the coronavirus. The league still expects to need a short time to train staff how to use them, and ensure the proper testing protocols are in place.
Tests have been a major obstacle to the conference returning to action.
The conference announced in August that it was postponing all competitive sports through the calendar year, citing the need for “rapid point of care tests” as part of its decision.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called the purchase of the new tests a “game-changer” and said the availability of rapid testing will allow the conference to consider resuming competitive activities before Jan. 1, 2021.
Schools in the states of California and Oregon still have not been cleared by public health officials to resume contact practices. The league’s presidents and chancellors wouldn’t consider a vote to return until that status changes. Ideally, the Pac-12 would like its teams to have six weeks to practice and physically prepare for the season, the source said.