May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

CIF commissioner says Pac-12’s move postponing fall sports doesn’t affect high school plan

The decision by Pac-12 Conference officials to postpone college athletics, including football and basketball for the rest of the calendar year does not affect the CIF’s new plan for athletics in 2020-2021, CIF Commissioner Rob Wigod told OC Sports Zone Tuesday.

Wigod announced on July 20 that the new CIF plan calls for most fall sports to begin in December 2020 and for football to start in January 2021. However, schools would have to return to in-person instruction and local and state health officials would have to give final approval for the plan to occur.

Wigod said he has been following the developments of the Pac-12, which includes athletic programs at USC and UCLA.

“I am glad to see that they have made a definitive decision on fall sports,” Wigod said in an Email.  

Asked about whether this will have an affect on CIF’s plans to start football in January, Wigod said:

“No. Our original plan for all of our sports for the 2020-2021 school year remains in place.”

In a release Tuesday, Pac-12 officials noted the Pac-12 CEO Group voted unanimously to postpone all sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Officials said the decision was made after consultation with athletic directors and the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who they said “expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice.”

Officials said that “when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after Jan. 1, 2021.

Student-athletes who are affected will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed, Pac-12 officials said.

“Additionally, the Pac-12 Conference strongly encourages that the NCAA grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility,” officials said. “As part of their guaranteed scholarships, they will continue to have university support, including academic advising and tutoring, among other support services.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.

“We know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, and our hearts go out to them and their families. We have made clear that all of their scholarships will be guaranteed, and that as a conference we are strongly encouraging the NCAA to grant them an additional year of eligibility.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com