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Pac-12 extends suspension of team activities due to coronavirus

Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils watches from the sidelines during the first half of the college football game against the Utah Utes at Sun Devil Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the 38-20. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Pac-12 Conference, the governing body that includes Arizona State and Arizona athletics, announced Monday that its suspension of organized team activities would extend through May 31 with certain exceptions.

The news came just a day after the White House on Sunday extended its nationwide social distancing guidelines to the end of April.

The Pac-12 already announced on March 14 that athletic competitions would be canceled through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year. The latest announcement more broadly extends to team activities that go beyond formal games and meets.

A statement from the conference said there would be “no organized, in-person team activities of any type,” including voluntary workouts, film study, meetings, drills or practices. Virtual workouts are also not allowed.

This would thwart any would-be attempt by ASU or Arizona football programs to resume spring football any time soon, which didn’t seem likely anyway. ASU announced on March 12 that athletic events were canceled until further notice. The Sun Devils had eight spring football practices remaining following the school’s announcement.

However, the Pac-12’s latest statement does allow for virtual group activities like film study. The limit on that is two hours per week for football and four hours per week for other sports, but the conference said it is appealing to the NCAA to increase that limit for football.

The league’s statement also outlined rules for other matters, such as nutrition, health and wellness, athletic apparel and equipment and coaches issuing recommendations for at-home workouts.

In the long run, it’s not clear how recruiting operations could be affected by the coronavirus. Arizona’s high school sports governing body announced Monday the cancellation of sports through the rest of the academic year. Such sports would include baseball, among others, potentially causing problems for athletes who needed film and reps to get noticed by NCAA member schools.


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