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The Trojans are back! Pac-12 votes to play football, basketball seasons

USC’s football team will play seven conference games beginning Nov. 7.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans sports team will play their seasons beginning in the fall. The Pac-12 CEO Group voted to resume with the conference’s leagues starting in November.

USC’s football team will have just over six weeks to prepare for the season. The Trojans opening game will be on Nov. 7, with each Pac-12 team playing a seven-game schedule which will wrap up with the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 18. The winner will be considered for selection by the College Football Playoff committee.

Quarterback Kedon Slovis is one of the Heisman Trophy candidates going into the season. It is also a big one for head coach Clay Helton. USC finished an injury-riddled 2019 season with an 8-5 record. There were calls to fire Helton, but athletic director Mike Bohn elected to bring him back this year.

The Trojans basketball teams will also be back on the court this fall. Both the men’s and women’s squads will begin their seasons on Nov. 25.

The Pac-12 made the decision after striking a deal with Quidel Corporation to provide daily antigen testing for the coronavirus. Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement saying the conference made the decision based on the safety of the student-athletes.

“From the beginning of this crisis, our focus has been on following the science, data and counsel of our public health and infectious disease experts. Our agreement with Quidel to provide daily rapid-results testing has been a game-changer in enabling us to move forward with confidence that we can create a safe environment for our student-athletes while giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At the same time, we will continue to monitor health conditions and data and be ready to adjust as required in the name of the health of all.”

There will be no fans in attendance for any of the games, but at least we will get to see the Trojans back at it this fall.

USC’s remaining fall/winter sports teams will also be able to resume with their seasons before the end of the year as well.

For the Winter sports of wrestling, women’s gymnastics, and men’s & women’s swimming and diving, each university will determine when practice may commence in accordance with local public health official guidance and the situation on campus. Final competition schedules will be released for those sports at a later date. Fall sports for which post-season championships were postponed by the NCAA until the spring will be conducted starting January 2021, with preparation and practice occurring during the fall as permitted by NCAA rules.