The Pac-12 is the second major conference to move to an autumn conference schedule as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic grow.
The announcement came after a Pac-12 CEO Group meeting on Friday and one day after the Big Ten decided to drop non-conference games for all fall sports.
"The health and safety of our student athletes and everyone involved in Pac-12 sports remains our top priority," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “Our decisions were and are guided by science and data. Based on the trends and indicators of the past few days, it has become clear that we offer maximum flexibility in planning and have to move every movement into the next phase of return-to-play activities. "
Two hours later, the Pac-12 announced that Scott had tested positive for COVID-19 and was under self-quarantine.
The 55-year-old tested positive for flu-like symptoms later this week and, according to a conference statement, has been quarantined under the direction of his doctor.
Scott continues to work as a Commissioner from afar.
The conferences on the Atlantic coast, in the Big 12 and in the southeast are still options for autumn sports. On Wednesday, the Ivy League was the first Division I conference to stop all autumn sports until at least January, leaving the opportunity to postpone some sports until spring when the pandemic is better under control.
The Pac-12's decision includes soccer, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. Conference plans will be announced no later than July 31.
The conference also delays the start of mandatory sports activities until a number of health and safety indicators become more positive. Athletes who choose not to participate in the next academic year due to COVID-19 concerns will continue to receive their scholarships and will remain in good condition with their teams.
The world of college sports has been put on hold since the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the lucrative NCAA basketball tournaments and all spring sports. Athletes recently returned to campus for voluntary training sessions, but many schools have cut back as more than a dozen schools have reported positive COVID-19 testing among athletes in the past month.
Schools were also faced with massive household shortages in the wake of the pandemic.
The NCAA has cut $ 375 million in planned withdrawals from its member schools due to the cancellation of the NCAA tournament, and schools across the country have been hit by massive budget shortages as college sports continue to be suspended.
Stanford eliminated 11 of its 36 college sports this week and at least 171 four-year schools eliminated the sport during the pandemic.
"Arizona State University and Sun Devil athletics support Pac-12's announcement of a rigorous conference schedule for the 2020 soccer and fall sports season," said Ray Anderson, Arizona Sports Director, in a statement. "We will continue to seek guidance and input from medical and infectious disease experts, as well as from our local and campus health officials and doctors, as we evaluate this ever-changing landscape."
A switch to pure conference plans is likely to have an impact on the university sports landscape.
Smaller schools that rely on revenue from guaranteed football matches against Power Five schools could cut millions of dollars.
Non-Power Five schools receive hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $ 1 million in guaranteed games to fund their sports departments. The income from the guarantee game can make up more than 5% of a school's total sports budget.