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Pac-12 Changes Their Mind; Marquette/UCLA Is Back On The Table

Today the western most power conference elected to allow athletic contests before the first of the year.

UCLA v Arizona Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Back in early August, the Pac-12 Conference announced that they were calling a halt to all athletic contests for all sports through the end of 2020 due to the continuing and even still now ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At the time, that meant that Marquette men’s basketball would not be taking their mid-December trip to Pauley Pavilion to take on UCLA as previously scheduled and announced.

And now, that has changed.

On Thursday, the Pac-12 announced that they have reversed course on their previous decision, and all sports will be able to begin competitions in accordance with guidelines installed by the NCAA. I’m going to let the Pac-12’s press release explain exactly why that they changed things up:

The August 11 decision of the Pac-12 CEO Group to postpone sport competitions was based upon three central concerns cited by the Medical Advisory Committee: consistent testing capabilities across all Pac-12 universities, the prevalence of the virus in Pac-12 communities and nationally, and concerns related to possible cardiac concerns potentially associated with COVID-19. The decision to resume sport competitions today is based upon updated Medical Advisory Committee recommendations that point to material improvements in each of these three areas, along with updated state and local public health guidance.

So there you go. If you feel that you still have reservations about the safety of doing any of this during the pandemic, well, I’m not going to argue with you.

Anyway, the point of talking about all of this here on this website is that Marquette’s game against UCLA is back on the board. Of course, the fact that the NCAA kicked the start of the basketball season down to November 25th instead of November 10th raises a lot of questions. As we already talked about, Marquette had five games scheduled between the 10th and the 24th, and those games — the Hall Of Fame Tip-Off games in particular — may or may not be getting rescheduled after the 25th.

How does that rescheduling affect the timeline for the games that were already scheduled to be played after November 25th, like, say, a December 12th game in Los Angeles? We have no idea! Some things will get left in place, some things will get shifted around, some things will get cancelled. There’s also the issue of the Big East schedule, and all of the non-conference games have to get scheduled around where the league wants to put their 20 game calendar. The reporting has been that there are going to be conference games in December somewhere, perhaps even as early as December 12th....... which is the day that Marquette is supposed to be in Los Angeles to play the Bruins.

There’s a lot of questions to be asked right now. Until someone in the McGuire Center hits the Publish button on the new and official schedule, we have no idea what the schedule will look like.

For now, though, we know that it is possible for Marquette and UCLA to get their game in before the first of the year. Those extra five or so weeks is a lot of time to fit in a game, especially when you consider that there is normally very little time between the start of the conference schedule and the Big East tournament. Sure, it’s possible to figure out a way to go to LA on MU’s theoretical “bye” week in Big East play, but isn’t it easier to fit it into December somewhere, maybe even on the day it was originally scheduled?

Anyway, the basketball schedule was supposed to be released two weeks ago, and we’re still waiting now. It still might be a few weeks before we get word as to the official schedule of things, so keep your eyes and ears open..........