August 13, 2020
As you have no doubt heard, the Pac-12 Conference has decided to postpone all fall athletic competition for the remainder of the calendar year. While it was a difficult decision to make, it is the right decision, one supported by Athletic Director Rob Mullens, guided by science, and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of our student-athletes.
I know this is a disappointment to Ducks everywhere, especially our student-athletes who have worked so hard to prepare to compete in the sports they love. I am disappointed for our coaches and support staff who prepared with great care to create safety protocols in the hopes that our teams could play this fall. I am grateful to them for their efforts. I know Duck fans everywhere will miss cheering on our student-athletes, gathering together to celebrate the University of Oregon, and showing their Duck pride.
Unfortunately, given the increase in COVID-19 cases nationally, the conference leadership determined, in consultation with our athletic directors and medical experts that the increased exposure related to travel, training, and competition created too great a risk to our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans. The safety of our community remains our top priority.
Our student-athletes will be able to continue their studies, maintain their scholarships, and continue to train, as we continue to monitor conditions and until we determine that it is safe and responsible to return to competition. I certainly hope that we will be able to resume play after the new year.
This is just one of the many ways in which our University of Oregon community must adapt to a time like no other. This pandemic is requiring us to each make important changes, big and small, to come together around the collective need to support the health and welfare of our community. Whether wearing a mask or holding off on cheering on our Ducks, we will persevere, together and come out stronger on the other end.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law