LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — UCLA and USC fans won’t get a chance to cheer on their teams anytime soon after the Pac-12 Conference canceled the fall sports season Tuesday due to health concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
While the decision means both universities and 10 others will have to go without any fall season sports in the near term, officials did indicate that should unspecified conditions improve, they may consider a return to competition for impacted sports after Jan. 1, 2021 – a spring season for football.
Despite the move, student-athletes at all 12 conference schools will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed.
“In listening to our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee present the latest data over the past few days, it became abundantly clear that, despite our gargantuan efforts locally and as a conference, there is too much uncertainty to move forward with athletics practices and competitions at this time,” said Trojans Athletics Director Mike Bonin.
According to UCLA Athletics Director Martin Jarmond, the school “is in complete support of today’s decision by the Pac-12 CEO Group to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the calendar year; no game is worth jeopardizing the health of even one person.”
Earlier Tuesday, the Big Ten became the first of college sports’ power conferences to yield to the pandemic.
The Mountain West Conference, which includes San Diego State, announced Monday that it was postponing its football and other fall sports season indefinitely.
The Pac-12 decision doesn’t just hurt sports fans – it’s also hurting local businesses.
Danny Hizami, owner of Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak Owner across the street from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, says he’s relied on hungry customers who attend concerts and sporting events to keep his business afloat for the past 10 years.
“USC is not playing football anymore for the fall and that’s just killing our business right now,” said Hizami.
Some businesses in Pasadena will also be hurting since the Bruins won’t be playing at the Rose Bowl, and fans won’t be visiting restaurants like Sorriso Restaurant and Bar.
“If it’s a big school like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska… they bring a lot of visitors,” said Jack Huang, owner of Sorriso Ristorante and Bar. “They stay here for three, four days, through the weekend, they just want to go out.”
Huang says the cancellation of the fall football season will be another blow to already struggling businesses like his.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)