Pac-12 Votes to Start 2020-21 Basketball Season Nov. 25 as Scheduled

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

Washington's Nigel Williams-Goss (5) dribbles past Oregon State's Roberto Nelson and across a Pac-12 logo in the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Pac-12 has voted to begin its men's and women's college basketball seasons on Nov. 25, the conference announced Thursday. 

This will match the rest of the country after the NCAA Division I Council voted earlier this month to begin the 2020-21 season on that date. 

In August, the Pac-12 had postponed all sporting events through the end of the calendar year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the league voted Thursday to begin the college football season on Nov. 6 with a seven-game conference season, per Kyle Bonagura and Heather Dinich of ESPN.

The college basketball season will begin later in the month, although no fans will be allowed to attend games until at least January 2021.

The Pac-12 had previously cited information from the league's Medical Advisory Committee on making the decision to postpone events, but the group put out revised recommendations last week based on new developments around the country and within the league.

Among those developments are the conference's partnership with Quidel to provide rapid-results COVID-19 testing to student-athletes in close-contact sports and member schools' ability to conduct cardiac testing and monitoring on student-athletes who have had COVID-19.

Commissioner Larry Scott noted the path that led to the change:

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"From the beginning of this crisis, our focus has been on following the science, data and counsel of our public health and infectious disease experts. Our agreement with Quidel to provide daily rapid-results testing has been a game-changer in enabling us to move forward with confidence that we can create a safe environment for our student-athletes while giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At the same time, we will continue to monitor health conditions and data and be ready to adjust as required in the name of the health of all."

The league will now start on time for the basketball season after significant uncertainty over the past few weeks.

As Matt Norlander of CBS Sports noted, the Pac-12 was a "huge barrier" for everyone else putting together non-conference schedules and multi-team events such as preseason tournaments.

The league has several exciting teams once play actually begins, especially after some key players decided to return to school instead of entering the NBA draft like Remy Martin (Arizona State) and Chris Smith (UCLA). The Sun Devils and Bruins should be top to climb up national rankings this season as well as Oregon, Arizona, Stanford and others.