It felt inevitable, but the news is still shocking: the Pac-12 has canceled the 2020 college football season. The conference met virtually Tuesday to discuss an emerging emergency and ultimately decided to cancel the fall season. The conference hopes to attempt to play in the spring.
Update on the 2020-21 Pac-12 season below.https://t.co/G6VxDO2VM2— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) August 11, 2020
The Pac-12’s decision was made because there are legitimate safety concerns for students and student-athletes on campus. At some point in this decision-making process, it was assumed that if campuses were not safe enough to have students in classrooms, it was not safe enough for the student-athletes to study, play and travel.
There could have been attempts to create a bubble, but the NCAA and its conferences would have had to acknowledge that these players are not regular students, and that they are professional athletes who should be compensated for their employment. Players have pushed to unionize in order to represent their own interests, but the NCAA would rather cancel an entire season than pay its athletes.
The Pac-12 has followed in the footsteps of the Big Ten, whose leadership canceled their own season today. Various reports have suggested the Big Ten and Pac-12 have been fighting to cancel the season, whereas the SEC is trying to pull the ACC and Big 12 into playing out the fall. This is a developing story in which anything can realistically happen.
There is still a chance that the fall season will be postponed until the spring, but that appears very unlikely at this point.