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Stanford AD Bernard Muir issues statement on Pac-12 cancellation of 2020 fall sports

Muir pushes the health and safety of all student-athletes amid the global pandemic

The Pac-12 has officially cancelled the fall sports season in the conference, making waves as the announcement meant each university’s major college football team will be without any games in the fall of 2020. Having already made cuts to the athletic department and sports offered, the Stanford Cardinal were talked about quite a bit during Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott’s press conference.

Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir wasted no time putting together his own statement following the news.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and community has been and always will be our top priority.

At this point, it has become apparent that competing this fall would introduce undue risk in terms of the health and safety of participants and the spread of the virus in the communities in which competitions were scheduled to take place. Beyond the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 across our country right now, there are also still many unknowns with respect to the potential long-term health implications of the virus for those who contract it, even for young people who may not experience severe symptoms in the short term.

I am proud of the rigorous safety protocols we have implemented for the student-athletes who have returned to train in our athletics facilities thus far. Even with those protocols in place, however, we are still not prepared to allow our programs to take the next step of moving to the level of physical contact and equipment sharing needed to prepare to compete safely. Additionally, the logistical challenges of adhering to the current safety protocols and best practices when traveling and competing against others are still too great to overcome.

Today’s decision is disappointing for many people, but none more so than our student-athletes, who have worked so hard for so many years to reach this point in their athletics pursuits. I remain hopeful that we will find a way to create an opportunity for them to compete safely in the winter or spring.

For any student-athlete who chooses not to compete this year for reasons related to COVID-19, we will honor their existing athletics scholarship and will continue to provide them with access to our student-athlete support services to the greatest extent possible within campus, local, state, and federal guidelines.

— Bernard Muir”