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Pac-12 starts discussing potential scenarios for football season

The Pac-12 logo in Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
The Pac-12 Conference has had preliminary discussions about potentially holding a six- or eight-game college football season that would start in January.
(George Frey / Getty Images)

The Pac-12 Conference has held preliminary discussions about a possible start date for the football season that was pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with multiple winter and spring options in play.

The possibilities that include six- and eight-game schedules starting as soon as January were discussed in a meeting of conference coaches Friday, according to one person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly divulge details of the conversation. One model involves only games within a team’s division as part of a highly truncated season that would help the conference preserve a full 2021 fall schedule.

No decisions were made and any proposed schedule would need the approval of conference chancellors and presidents.

UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson says he’s been able to re-examine what’s important during the coronavirus crisis that threatens his junior season with the Bruins.

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After initially pushing for a 10-game, conference-only schedule, the Pac-12 announced this month that it was delaying the start of all fall sports, including football, to at least Jan. 1 because of ongoing concerns related to the novel coronavirus.

Pac-12 officials hope lowered community virus caseloads and increased availability of expedited tests can help improve conditions over the next few months, allowing the conference to proceed with sports.

While the Big Ten Conference remained in lockstep with the Pac-12 in canceling plans for a fall football season, the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast and Big 12 conferences are forging ahead, with games scheduled to start next month.

Lute Olson, who guided the Arizona Wildcats to 589 wins and an NCAA title over his 25 years as basketball coach, died Thursday at the age of 85.

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