Pac-12 says COVID-19 issues can result in forfeits in 2021

National Sports

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Pac-12 teams that cannot play because of COVID-19 issues will likely be forced to forfeit games this season.

The conference announced Thursday it is reinstituting its forfeiture policy after it modified its rules last season because of the pandemic.

Last season, a game that could not be played because of COVID-19 problems with either team was canceled and deemed no contest. This season, COVID-19 will not be automatically considered an excused absence.

”If an institution is unable to play a contest through its own fault, it shall forfeit such contest to its opponent,” the conference said.

A forfeit will count as a conference victory for a forfeiting team’s opponent.

”The Pac-12 rule provides the Commissioner with discretion to determine whether an institution is at fault or primarily at fault for an inability to play a contest based on the facts of the situation,” the conference said.

The Pac-12 announced earlier this month that regular COVID-19 testing will no longer be required for vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated individuals will also no longer be immediately subjected to quarantine after exposure to an infected individual.

Regular testing will still be required for unvaccinated players, coaches and staff.

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