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The Pac-12 will consider letting its teams lose games if they can’t play this fall due to COVID-19, new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN on Thursday, but the conference won’t make an official decision until August. .
“I’ll tell you that I tend to go back to pre-COVID rules with a team that was unable to put up enough players to lose the game,” Kliavkoff said. “Some of that is about the financial implications and who is carrying that. We read with interest the notes from (NFL) Commissioner (Roger) Goodell to the NFL teams that they are going to treat it as a forfeit and financially punish the team that is unable to play. I don’t know if we’ll get there or not, but we’re leaning on that. We’re not going to make decisions without input from the ADs and football coaches.”
Goodell sent a league-wide memo this week threatening forfeitures and loss of match controls if an outbreak among unvaccinated players causes a disruption to the regular season schedule. Earlier this week, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also said his conference is considering forfeitures as part of an effort to encourage vaccinations.
Kliavkoff said he will meet with the Pac-12 sports directors during the media days of the conference on Monday, and he also wants to speak with the medical directors on each campus before making a decision together.
“We’re not going to make a decision until August because with the delta variant out there, you never know how things will change, not even in the coming weeks,” he said. “We don’t have any advantage in making a decision earlier, so we wait with that decision.”
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