NCAA PAC 12 Conference

Pac-12 to allow nonconference football games


The Pac-12 has loosened its scheduling restrictions for the 2020 season and will allow nonconference football games to be played if they meet a certain criteria.

“The Pac-12 is committed to maintaining maximum flexibility to provide our football student-athletes with an opportunity to compete, while continuing to ensure that health and safety remains our number one priority,” commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.

The Pac-12 listed three stipulations that must be met for one of its teams to play a nonconference game.

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Opponents must be able to meet the Pac-12 testing and related safety protocols for COVID-19, which includes once weekly PCR and daily antigen testing for each day of close contact athletic activity.

Pac-12 teams must be the host site and games must be broadcast by ESPN or Fox Sports, the conference’s television partners.

In the event a Pac-12 team schedules a nonconference game early in the week and a Pac-12 opponent becomes available by the end of the day Thursday of the same week, the Pac-12 will require a matchup between conference teams.

Colorado is the lone Pac-12 team without an opponent this week, after its game against Arizona State was canceled Sunday. Last week, the conference paired California and UCLA on Sunday, after both schools’ previously scheduled games were canceled.

Colorado on Thursday issued a statement saying it would not look to schedule a nonconference opponent for this weekend, despite the Pac-12 ruling.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake told ESPN last week that the Cougars are trying to add one more game to the schedule because there is a long open stretch between Saturday’s game against North Alabama and the Dec. 12 regular-season finale against San Diego State.

“BYU remains open to exploring options to add football games this season with schools from any conference playing non-league games, including the Pac-12, and will evaluate week-to-week,” a university spokesman told ESPN on Thursday.

A Pac-12 spokesman told ESPN that the league was open to scheduling a game against the Cougars as long as BYU met the conference’s coronavirus protocols for the week leading up to a potential game. BYU currently only tests three times a week.

ESPN’s Heather Dinich contributed to this report.

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