PAC 12, MAC both cancel non-league football games for 2020


The decision follows the Big Ten's move Thursday also to only play colleges within its conference to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19, where the US has 3.24 million active cases.

Both USC and Stanford play high-profile annual games against the University of Notre Dame.

"The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority", Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the conference statement.

On Thursday, the SEC commissioner said the conference is working on "the best path forward related to fall sports".

The Pac-12 said details on the conference-only schedules will be announced by July 31.

This decision will likely push back the start of many teams' seasons, a change Scott and the Pac-12 hope will allow many health and safety indicators to begin to trend in a more positive direction since a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Home games against Houston (Sept. 12) and Idaho (Sept. 19) will also be eliminated from the 2020 slate.

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From a Utah perspective, it loses non-conference games vs. BYU (Sept. 3), Montana State (Sept. 12), and at Wyoming (Sept. 19).

UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said his university "fully supports" the decision "to delay the start of mandatory athletic activities and to limit fall seasons for several sports to conference-only competition". Women's soccer, the reigning national champions, had planned to travel to Kentucky and Vanderbilt, while the men's soccer team had planned to host Maryland and Akron prior to Pac-12 play - but now those games must be canceled. Earlier this week the Ivy League, an FCS conference in football, announced it would not be holding any athletic activities this fall, but determined it was too early to make a ruling on winter or spring sports, or whether fall sports could be moved to the spring.

And Cal was scheduled to play the first football game in the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the relocated Las Vegas Raiders, on August 29 against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The conference said athletes who choose not to participate in sports this year because of health concerns will have their scholarships honored by their university. Guarantee-game revenue can account for more than 5% of a school's overall athletic budget.

Like Hawaii, BYU now isn't scheduled to play its first game until October because its first four games, two against Big Ten teams and two more against Pac-12 teams, are now gone.