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USC brass responds to Pac-12 resume of fall sports

Mike Bohn, Clay Helton each spoke on the Pac-12’s return

UCLA v. USC Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The Pac-12 is officially back and practices are scheduled to resume at full capacity soon for football as well as a few other fall. Winter sports even have a start date and it looks like your USC Trojans will at least get seven games in this season on the football field.

With the news that they’re returning, USC athletic director Mike Bohn and head football coach Clay Helton each took time to respond and prepare statements. They are both below.

USC AD Mike Bohn

“I am thrilled for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that the Pac-12 Conference presidents and chancellors voted to resume athletics practices and competitions for football, basketball, and winter sports seasons.

When contact practices and competitions were postponed six weeks ago, our conference’s medical experts outlined conditions that had to be met in order to revisit that decision. Specifically, there needed to be:

i. reductions in community prevalence in many of our communities

ii. advances in testing speed and capacity across the entire conference, and

iii. additional time to further study and understand the health impacts of the virus.

Guided by the Pac-12’s breakthrough daily testing partnership with Quidel, the Pac-12’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee determined that these criteria have been met, and we can now resume contact practices and competitions. USC’s own medical experts thoroughly reviewed and fully endorsed the recommendations of the conference’s Medical Advisory Committee. I want to thank all our medical experts for their continued and unwavering commitment to upholding the highest health and safety standard in all of college athletics.

We are proud of our student-athletes who made this resumption possible by their adherence to our health and safety protocols. We are inspired by their commitment to themselves, their teammates, and our protocols. As we have been these past several weeks, we will move forward with great caution and care for our student-athletes. Any student-athlete who chooses not to participate in competition due to COVID-related concerns will not be pressured in any way or suffer any reductions in financial aid.

It is a testament to the strength of the leadership in our football locker room and a symbol of the central role USC plays in the Pac-12 that the letter from our players to California Governor Gavin Newsom galvanized our collective return to play efforts. We are appreciative of the leadership of the state of California for working with us and committing to revisions to public health guidelines that will allow us to practice and play safely and in competitive balance with our conference and national peers.”

Football head coach Clay Helton

“We are excited and appreciative for the decision that came from our presidents and chancellors today to start the 2020 football season. The patience that our University leaders showed has allowed us the time to produce the safest environment possible for our student athletes. We thank the Pac 12 Conference and their medical advisory team for not only supplying the daily testing needed but also the scientific knowledge and advice that led to today’s decision.

From the outset of this pandemic USC has supported our student athletes with the necessary resources for them to remain healthy and safe while getting in good physical condition. It has put us in a very good place as a team to enter an upcoming training camp. We look forward to the preparation of a season and having the opportunity to compete for championships.”