Pac-12 Basketball Update: A Change of Heart Seems Forthcoming
Those around the conference are hopeful that an official decision can be reversed in time for college basketball’s potential start this winter.
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A reversal of a recent decision to postpone Pac-12 hoops until January 2021 may be around the corner.
It’s been a little over two weeks since the Pac-12 attempted to be at the forefront of what at the time, may have looked like a mass postponement of winter sports around the country. President’s within the conference took a vote regarding a postponement of all sports until at least the turn of the new year, and it passed.
At the time the conference looked like a pioneer, making a big announcement when college basketball fans around the country were looking for one. The news was shocking, but not totally unexpected given the complexities and incohesion surrounding a start to college football this past month. So for those involved, they simply turned off their webcams, sat back and waited for others to follow suit.
But those other announcements never came, and instead of looking like the leaders of some sort of mass trend, they were left the antsy outlier.
Recently some of that behind the scenes inter-conference turmoil between stakeholders around the Pac-12’s programs rose to the service. Given that August 11th decision to prohibit all winter sports was passed with little input from athletic directors and coaching staffs, everyone was a left a little puzzled as to what news or information prompted this sudden vote and why they were left out of it.
Now heading into September, non-conference schedules have begun to fill up amid conversation of a start to college basketball sometime in November or December. That’s good news for most around the country but for those a little closer to the west coast there is still some uncertainty surrounding non-conference play.
As highlighted by some of our recent coverage on the matter earlier this month, Mountain West schools were set to be directly affected by this decision. With at least four to seven publicly released games set to be thrown out, pending any sort of change of heart before the sport’s usual start time of early November.
Not to mention, the situation leaving Pac-12 coaches scrambling to keep non-conference opponents on their schedule with a promise of some sort of overturning announcement forthcoming.
Athletic directors and coaching staff’s around the conference have voiced their concerns and opposition about that standing decision. With most other leaders around the country feeling basketball is too important to the bottom line most years, but in a year possibly without college football, it’s absolutely necessary.
“Our coaches across the board in the Pac-12 are pretty much unified in how we feel,” said one coach. “We want our players to be as safe as possible and we also want to allow science to continue to make advancements and see if there’s a chance.”
But it appears that those in the Mountain West can rest easy as a plan to revisit that apparently hastily made decision is on the horizon. A reversal of the call or possibly some adjustments to it will be made given two factors.
- Having the league’s medical advisory board revisit and update it’s recommendations to allow for winter sports competition.
- If NCAA stakeholders formally vote for and announce a start date, on September 16th.
That vote set to take place on September 16th looks to be a part of a larger plan to get players on the court sometime this winter. Though, there is a repeated element that seems to be uttered right alongside any statements in favor of playing from coaches, ADs or university presidents nationwide. That seems to be to play, but do so safely. Which should be the concern of everyone involved, including fans.
Especially those in the state of California (CAL, Stanford, UCLA & USC), which has the highest recorded number of positive Covid-19 cases in the country.
“I would be surprised if our start date is Jan. 1 based on all of the factors,” a source told CBS Sports. “Each of our campuses know more now than they did then.”
For now communication is key, as it appears a unified conference will be needed to propel any change to the decision as it stands.