California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the there’s no reason the Pac-12 cannot play.
In a press conference earlier today, Newson said, “…there’s nothing in the state guidelines that denies the Pac 12 from having conference games. There’s nothing in these guidelines that denies these games from happening”.
The governor said that any idea to the contrary has been a misrepresentation of facts. Current physical distancing guidelines in the state suggests that athletes should only gather in cohorts of up to 12 people. NFL teams in the state are currently playing through a specific exemption.
The governor also says that he has been in contact with Larry Scott this afternoon. Earlier today after the Big Ten announcement, Scott had said that “our universities in California and Oregon do not have approval from state or local public heath officials to start contact practice”. After his conversation with the governor, a statement by Scott will be needed in order to provide clarity.
Yesterday, USC football players wrote a letter directly to Governor Newsom asking him to work with them on returning to play. USC coaches on social media showed support for the players.
The Governor’s remarks make you wonder why the universities and/or the conference have not communicated directly with the Governor on this issue before today.
While this proves hopeful for a Pac 12 fall football season, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.
Update> Oregon’s Governor has now chimed in (via James Crepea).
Good things happening my friends. Let’s go!
Note “We have granted that request.”
Further update> Let’s go!
Sources: After speaking to #Pac12 commish Larry Scott, Newsom’s office reached out to #USC officials. Plan is to fast track revision to controversial 12-person cohort max. That shifts focus to local health, an easier hurdle for the schools. This is big.
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) September 16, 2020
The CA Dept. of Public Health has released a statement on Newsom’s comments on college football:
“College sports, including football, are permitted in California, so long as teams follow state rules intended to protect their athletes and staff from transmission of COVID-19."
— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) September 16, 2020
Pac-12 commish Larry Scott’s statement pic.twitter.com/TuOeMXkGMv
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 16, 2020