News

Pac-12 athletics are back, but not yet at Stanford

Santa Clara County Public Health Department cites concerns about transmission risks, outbreaks at college campuses

Courtesy David Bernal.

Although the Pac-12 Conference announced last week that college athletics can resume starting in November, sports remain on hold at Stanford University under Santa Clara County public health guidance that doesn't yet allow practices and competitions.

In a message to the campus community, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said the university is "having constructive discussions with the county about how to safely resume athletics at Stanford.

"We deeply respect the thoughtful decision-making our county has undertaken to protect public health throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and we have a shared goal of providing for the safety of our community," he wrote. "We look forward to continued discussion in the coming days that, we hope, will lead to the approval of athletic competition under rigorous health and safety standards."

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department put out its own statement last week, writing that "we and other public health experts have ongoing concerns about the transmission risks associated with intercollegiate contact sports, particularly in light of the many COVID-19 outbreaks that have occurred on college and university campuses and on various sports teams."

The county is now waiting for the state to released revised guidance that is expected to be modified to allow Pac-12 sports to proceed.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

"We will review the new state guidance and proposed university protocols, make local decisions focused on the safety of the entire community, and continue to apply consistent requirements across industries, sectors, and institutions," the statement reads.

The Pac-12 Conference's decision means that Pac-12 universities with the necessary state and local health approvals can begin the football season on Nov. 6 and men's and women's basketball competitions on Nov. 25, with in-person practices starting immediately or as soon as individual schools are able to do so. Wrestling, women's gymnastics, and men's and women's swimming and diving teams have also been cleared to resume practicing when individual institutions are able to do so, with season start dates still to be determined.

Fans will not be allowed to attend any games, though that decision will be revisited in January.

The Pac-12 CEO Group said its decision was based on changes to testing capabilities and the prevalence of COVID-19 and cardiac issues as well as updated state and local public health guidance. Regular COVID-19 testing is "integral to any return to sport strategy," said the group's Medical Advisory Committee, which issued detailed recommendations around testing, the potential cardiac effects of COVID-19 infection and what should prompt universities to suspend or end athletic competitions.

Tessier-Lavigne wrote that he's been "reflecting deeply" on two main questions he's been hearing from the university community on sports: "Is resuming competition in the interest of our students' health and safety, and the safety of our broader community? And, is it appropriate given the activities that are available to other groups of people at Stanford?"

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stanford will allow student-athletes to decide whether they feel comfortable playing under "rigorous health and safety protocols." For those that do, the university hopes to allow them to gradually resume activities that can't be done online, just as other university work like research and elective surgeries have resumed.

"Athletics is clearly an activity that cannot be done online. We made a commitment to our student-athletes, when they came to Stanford, to offer them the best possible academic and athletic experience," Tessier-Lavigne wrote. "We have concluded that, as long as we are able to provide for our students' health and safety in rigorous ways, and allow them to make the final decision whether or not to play, there is no value in requiring them to miss a full year of competition."

Tessier-Lavigne also said he supports and believes a fall football season is "workable" at Stanford.

Stanford is also still hoping to bring cohorts of undergraduate students back to campus for the winter quarter, he wrote.

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Pac-12 athletics are back, but not yet at Stanford

Santa Clara County Public Health Department cites concerns about transmission risks, outbreaks at college campuses

by Elena Kadvany / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 1:47 pm

Although the Pac-12 Conference announced last week that college athletics can resume starting in November, sports remain on hold at Stanford University under Santa Clara County public health guidance that doesn't yet allow practices and competitions.

In a message to the campus community, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said the university is "having constructive discussions with the county about how to safely resume athletics at Stanford.

"We deeply respect the thoughtful decision-making our county has undertaken to protect public health throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and we have a shared goal of providing for the safety of our community," he wrote. "We look forward to continued discussion in the coming days that, we hope, will lead to the approval of athletic competition under rigorous health and safety standards."

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department put out its own statement last week, writing that "we and other public health experts have ongoing concerns about the transmission risks associated with intercollegiate contact sports, particularly in light of the many COVID-19 outbreaks that have occurred on college and university campuses and on various sports teams."

The county is now waiting for the state to released revised guidance that is expected to be modified to allow Pac-12 sports to proceed.

"We will review the new state guidance and proposed university protocols, make local decisions focused on the safety of the entire community, and continue to apply consistent requirements across industries, sectors, and institutions," the statement reads.

The Pac-12 Conference's decision means that Pac-12 universities with the necessary state and local health approvals can begin the football season on Nov. 6 and men's and women's basketball competitions on Nov. 25, with in-person practices starting immediately or as soon as individual schools are able to do so. Wrestling, women's gymnastics, and men's and women's swimming and diving teams have also been cleared to resume practicing when individual institutions are able to do so, with season start dates still to be determined.

Fans will not be allowed to attend any games, though that decision will be revisited in January.

The Pac-12 CEO Group said its decision was based on changes to testing capabilities and the prevalence of COVID-19 and cardiac issues as well as updated state and local public health guidance. Regular COVID-19 testing is "integral to any return to sport strategy," said the group's Medical Advisory Committee, which issued detailed recommendations around testing, the potential cardiac effects of COVID-19 infection and what should prompt universities to suspend or end athletic competitions.

Tessier-Lavigne wrote that he's been "reflecting deeply" on two main questions he's been hearing from the university community on sports: "Is resuming competition in the interest of our students' health and safety, and the safety of our broader community? And, is it appropriate given the activities that are available to other groups of people at Stanford?"

Stanford will allow student-athletes to decide whether they feel comfortable playing under "rigorous health and safety protocols." For those that do, the university hopes to allow them to gradually resume activities that can't be done online, just as other university work like research and elective surgeries have resumed.

"Athletics is clearly an activity that cannot be done online. We made a commitment to our student-athletes, when they came to Stanford, to offer them the best possible academic and athletic experience," Tessier-Lavigne wrote. "We have concluded that, as long as we are able to provide for our students' health and safety in rigorous ways, and allow them to make the final decision whether or not to play, there is no value in requiring them to miss a full year of competition."

Tessier-Lavigne also said he supports and believes a fall football season is "workable" at Stanford.

Stanford is also still hoping to bring cohorts of undergraduate students back to campus for the winter quarter, he wrote.

Comments

Smart choices
Registered user
another community
on Oct 1, 2020 at 3:51 pm
Smart choices, another community
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Santa Clara County should carefully consider whether to proceed. Of course, Stanford wants the money and the football players don’t want to miss their season, but there are many reasons to be hesitant. The nature of football doesn’t permit public health safety protocols to be followed. The largest contact tracing study of coronavirus in the world (for a region in India, conducted by a professor with joint appointments at Princeton and an Indian university) was just released and finds that 20-45 year olds are responsible for most of the spread. Playing football is not an essential activity. Given that we are headed into flu season and Gov Newsom is pointing to some warning signs indicating upcoming increases in coronavirus in California (as national health experts are saying the same thing regarding the nation), it seems just as crazy to have Stanford play football as it would be to open Disneyland.


Free the people
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm
Free the people, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm

And yet, Sara Cody had no problem allowing the 49ers to practice and play. And this was when the county was in the purple group.
The state has released guidelines for college football to proceed.
Web Link

I know Cody wants to maintain her stranglehold on the county, but a person that has not missed a big paycheck all these months should not be dictating to county residents.

And take note that San Jose State has told the county health what they think of their demands- they are moving to Humboldt county to practice.


Trump tests positive
Registered user
Slater
on Oct 2, 2020 at 12:04 am
Trump tests positive, Slater
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2020 at 12:04 am

Must be, as Trump says, FAKE NEWS.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.