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New coronavirus test revives hope of Pac-12 and Big Ten playing football

New coronavirus test revives hope of Pac-12 and Big Ten playing football
Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 09:20:41-04

Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, said Thursday that a new coronavirus test that claims to provide fast and accurate results is a “major step” when it comes to allowing a football season.

Last month, the Pac-12, along with the Big Ten and several other Division 1 FBS conference, decided to postpone the college football season. Meanwhile, two Division 1 FBS games were played on Thursday.

Of the Power 5 conference, the ACC, SEC and Big 12 are all moving forward with a fall football season. The decision not to have a fall football season for the Big Ten and Pac-12 amid the coronavirus pandemic came with some backlash as parents, players and even President Donald Trump have pushed for the Pac-12 and Big Ten to change their decisions.

And now they have a reason to change their mind.

“This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches and others. At the same time, our partnership with Quidel, the industry leader in point-of-care antigen testing, will provide crucial research data that will benefit our members’ communities as well as the entire country.”

The Pac-12 said that the Quidel tests are expected to reach Pac-12 athletic departments by the end of the fall. The conference says that having a reliable rapid coronavirus test was a key reason why the conference postponed the fall football season.

The company claims to have results within 15 minutes and to be 96.7% accurate.

According to The Athletic reporter Nicole Auerbach, Scott said he is hopeful that the Pac-12 could resume and align its football calendar with the Big Ten. The two conferences have long held a symbolic relationship through the Rose Bowl, although in recent years, the Rose Bowl is no longer exclusively held between the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12.

“This is an opportunity to get our athletes back to activity in a careful and controlled manner while monitoring outcomes. It is win-win for athletics and to better our understanding of strategies to prevent spread during sports,” said Dr. Kimberly Harmon, section head of sports medicine for the University of Washington.