WSU President and Athletics Director comment on Pac-12 sports being postponed until 2021

The Pac-12 announced Tuesday they are suspending all sports until January of 2021, this includes the start to winter sports. 
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PULLMAN, Wash. — The Pac-12 announced Tuesday they are suspending all sports until January of 2021, this includes the start to winter sports.

“Today, the Pac-12 Conference announced that all fall sports will be postponed,” said Washington State University President Kirk Schulz. “This decision was not what any of us wanted or planned, but it is the right call. Protecting the health and safety of all of our students is our top priority. I commend Commissioner Larry Scott for his leadership during these challenging times and look forward to resuming athletic competition when it’s safe to do so.”

“While WSU supports the Pac-12 decision, there is a profound sadness and disappointment for our fall sports student-athletes, coaches and staff,” said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun. “They gave extraordinary effort to create an environment committed to health, safety and well-being since their voluntary return in June. The commitment, patience and hard work they have shown should be commended. This year continues to be a winding road with unforeseen twists and turns. Regardless, as a WSU Athletics Family, we will continue to serve, support and prioritize our student-athletes in all we do.”

Student-athletes impacted by the postponement will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed.  Additionally, the Pac-12 Conference strongly encourages that the NCAA grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility.  As part of their guaranteed scholarships, they will continue to have university support, including academic advising and tutoring, among other support services.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.  “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

Scott noted that while the Conference’s detailed plan to keep student-athletes safe was working in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee guidelines and state and local government orders, the situation was becoming more challenging: “Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble,” he said. “Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant.  We will continue to monitor the situation and when conditions change we will be ready to explore all options to play the impacted sports in the new calendar year.”

“We know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, and our hearts go out to them and their families,” added Scott.  “We have made clear that all of their scholarships will be guaranteed, and that as a Conference we are strongly encouraging the NCAA to grant them an additional year of eligibility.”