Pac-12 to Require Schools to Test Players Weekly for Coronavirus Upon Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott at the pre-game press conference before the Pac-12 Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Levi's Stadium on December 6, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The Oregon Ducks won 37-15. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

As it prepares for the eventual return of student-athletes, the Pac-12 will require schools to conduct weekly coronavirus tests in order for them to participate in voluntary workouts.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott discussed the guideline with 247Sports' Brandon Marcello on Monday:

"We are going to have uniformity in the Pac-12. We've got a very strong medical advisory committee made up of our team docs and trainers. But we've got seven or eight infectious disease experts that are associated with these great university hospitals and medical research centers. They have specialists in this area and the collaboration has been terrific."

The NCAA Division I Council allowed for football and basketball teams to resume on-campus workouts starting June 1.

While individual states still have the final say on the extent to which they relax stay-at-home guidelines, officials might feel an implicit pressure to ensure prominent schools don't fall too far behind the curve.

Charles Boyle, the deputy communications director for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, told The Oregonian's James Crepea that Brown's office is making COVID-19-related decisions based on input from medical experts.

Regarding the status of preseason preparations, though, Boyle said state politicians "will make sure [student-athletes] are not at any competitive disadvantage due to the current situation."

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The Pac-12 announced last week its member schools can resume workouts June 15. That date is shared by the Big 12 and falls one week after the SEC will allow its schools to reopen their facilities.

Marcello noted the Pac-12 is the first Power Five conference to institute a uniform coronavirus testing policy. Scott said the Pac-12 wanted to be proactive because people can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

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