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Pac-12 games won’t have fans in 2020

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Arizona Bowl - Utah St v New Mexico St Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Though the Pac-12 voted to begin football and basketball season this November, the conference announced fans will not be allowed to attend games.

The ban could extend longer than that, but it will be re-evaluated “based upon health and safety considerations in January 2021.”

Fan attendance has varied across the country since some schools resumed sports this fall. Clemson, for instance, is allowing 19,000 fans into its games. Other programs have no fans.

Given the strict policies in states like California and Oregon—where half the Pac-12’s programs reside—the conference’s no-fans policy isn’t a huge surprise.

However, I’m not really sure why the Pac-12 would make this decision in September. Why not wait until November when the season is closer? As we’ve seen, the data on COVID-19, and the improvements in testing, can change rapidly.

Perhaps the Pac-12 will change course just as they did with the return of sports.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports remains our guiding light and number one priority,” Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Oregon President Michael Schill said in a statement “Our CEO Group has taken a measured and thoughtful approach to today’s decision, including extensive consultation with stakeholders on the evolving information and data related to health and safety.”