SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 on Thursday set a Nov. 6 start date for a six-game football regular season, following the Big Ten in overturning its August decision to postpone until spring because of concerns about playing through the pandemic.
The conference’s CEO group of university presidents voted unanimously to resume football and basketball, lifting a Jan. 1 moratorium on athletic competition for Pac-12 schools. The men’s and women’s basketball seasons can start Nov. 25, in line with the NCAA’s recently announced opening date. The football championship game will be held on Dec. 18.
“Hopefully this can bring just a little bit of normalcy back,” says Ammar Bhaiji who is a student at University of California Berkeley. Classes are distant this year, leaving a somewhat empty Cal Berkeley campus.
Usually campus is packed in the fall, “Football season is one of the best parts of fall semester,” says Kaelyn Lee who was working out outside Memorial Stadium when we spoke with her. There will be games played here but the season will consist of just seven instead of 12 and fans are not allowed.
“Aww that’s going to suck but it’s what we have to do to stay safe,” says Bhaiji.
Ammar and Kaelyn are optimistic about the football season and hopeful that new rapid testing works well. Some though say they would have preferred the school not to give into pressure of being the only power 5 conference not to play.
“Compared to the SEC and the Big Ten, we were the only ones not doing a season. I thought that was kinda cool,” says Dorothy Pham. Her friend Myra Licea echoed her thoughts, “I just feel like it’s too dangerous to put them at risk.”