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The Pac-12 is ready for spring football if need be

The oft-embattled commissioner of the Conference of Champions says his league is ready to delay the start of college football if necessary

PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks to the media during PAC-12 Media Days on July 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

At least one Power Five conference commissioner is starting to talk about alternatives to the schedule for the 2020 college football season, as it’s becoming more apparent that some kind of change is needed.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott spoke to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, and said that all possibilities are still on the table in terms of altering the upcoming football season.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Thursday that the conference is prepared to pivot quickly to alternate football scenarios in the event a 12-game regular season cannot start on time because of the coronavirus surge.

That possibility seemingly is growing more real by the week.

“I was cautiously optimistic … but the last couple weeks have changed everyone’s outlook because of the extent to which restarting the economy and loosening restrictions has led to significant outbreaks,” Scott told the Hotline.

“I still want to be cautiously optimistic, but if there’s no change in society’s response and behavior, which results in a quick flattening of the curve and a decrease in the spread of the virus, that would lead to a much more pessimistic view about our campuses being able to open and our ability to play college sports.”

Scott also said he’s in contact nearly daily with other league commissioners, and that the conference is “prepared to pivot” if needed. It seems obvious that some type of changes will be needed, as one of his member schools in USC told all students not to get apartments for the fall semester earlier today as they school shifts to mostly online classes.

California has been rolling back phases of expansion under Covid-19 and has a statewide order for all citizens to wear face masks in public. Four Pac-12 schools are in that state, and 10 of the 12 schools in the league are public institutions that will need to follow all state guidelines before re-opening.

Two of the possibilities mentioned include conference-only schedules, or moving the entire season to the spring.

But for now it appears there’s still much to be decided, however it seems more and more unlikely every day that college football will start on-time and as scheduled this Labor Day Weekend.