Pac-12 suspends all sports through end of 2020

Following closely on the heels of the Big Ten, the Pac-12 conference Tuesday suspended all sports through the end of 2020, due to the ongoing complications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon, in a statement on the conference website. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

Big Ten postpones fall sports, including football, due to Covid-19 pandemic

The seemingly inevitable became fact Tuesday, when the Big Ten conference announced it was postponing all fall sports, including football, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in the statement posted on the conference website. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”

The next question is whether or not other college conferences and schools will follow suit; rumors had surfaced Monday that the Pac-12 was set to make a similar announcement.

Mountain West, Mid-American conferences postpone fall sports; are Big Ten and Pac-12 next?

The Mountain West conference on Monday postponed all fall sports, including football, joining the Mid-American conference as the first FBS conferences to rule out games this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. And even as foobtall insiders and some politicians called for college football to be played even in the face of rising numbers of Americans testing positive for the disease, rumors surfaced that two of the biggest conferences, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, were ready to announce their own fall sports postponements soon.

Though other sports, including the NBA and the NHL, have staged successful re-openings in the midst of the pandemic, their expensive “bubble” implementations — where teams are basically sequestered in a locale without need to travel — is simply not possible for college sports, especially college football with its large rosters and the need for teams to travel to play a conference schedule while students also attend school. Major League Baseball, which is in the middle of a shortened 2020 season without a bubble, is in danger of having its season scrapped due to continued outbreaks of the virus among teams.

Raiders: No fans at Allegiant Stadium this season

Inside the new Allegiant Stadium, new home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

According to reports the brand-new stadium is ready to go, but according to the Las Vegas Raiders fans won’t be allowed in Allegiant Stadium if games are played this season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday that in an email sent to Raiders season ticket holders, owner Mark Davis said there would be no fans allowed at games this season. More as we hear more.

SEC joins Pac-12, Big Ten with conference-only football schedule

There’s still no guarantee that any games will be played at all due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but in case college football does return the SEC announced Thursday that it would play a conference-only schedule starting Sept. 26.

A release from the Southeastern Conference said “The 2020 SEC football season will be comprised of a 10-game Conference-only schedule and the SEC Football Championship Game will be played December 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of December 5. The schedule will include one mid-season open date for each school and an open date on December 12 for all schools.”

The SEC joins other Power-5 conferences that have announced similar plans. Both the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are also proposing conference-only schedules, while the ACC announced this week it would play an 11-game schedule with Notre Dame joining in.

“After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a prepared statement.

MLB cancels games after Marlins suffer Covid-19 outbreak

Could the Major League Baseball season be over before it even really got started? After a dozen players and staff on the Miami Marlins tested positive for Covid-19, MLB canceled two games on Monday and all around the nation sports observers were calling for the league to end its season before things got worse.

Unlike the NBA and the NHL — major pro sports that are trying to finish their seasons in enclosed “bubble” environments — Major League Baseball started up this past week with teams playing in their own stadiums, without fans but with no bubble restrictions.

The Marlins, who played an opening series at Philadelphia, had their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles postponed Monday by MLB. Also postponed was the opener of a planned series between the New York Yankees and the Phillies, set to begin Monday.