Pac-12 basketball: Conference re-establishes COVID policies from last season

Abilene Christian Wildcats forward Airion Simmons (23) goes to the hoop against Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.

Abilene Christian Wildcats forward Airion Simmons (23) goes to the hoop against Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

With COVID threatening to derail college basketball, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday a series of policies for the remainder of the 2021-22 season that are based on the procedures used last year.

As always, local public health requirements have priority.

Key tenants, which apply to the men and women for round-robin league play, include:

— Player and coach thresholds.

Teams must be available to compete if they have at least seven available scholarship players and one available coach. If there are fewer than seven scholarship players, teams have the option to play. If they decide not to compete, the participants and conference office will work to reschedule.

— No contests/forfeitures.

Games that cannot be played will either be rescheduled — "while being mindful of student-athlete health and safety considerations," according to the conference — or declared no contests.

There will be no forfeitures, except for one situation:

"The Conference office shall have the option to levy a forfeit in the event the Conference standards of sportsmanship are not met in the process of attempting to reschedule a contest."

The UCLA-Washington game earlier this month was declared a forfeiture at the time because the Huskies were unable to play. The result of that game will be changed to a no contest if it cannot be rescheduled.

— Return to play.

Once a team has enough healthy players, it will have at least two days of full practice before competing.

Of note: "The impacted institution may elect to play the game earlier than the two-day minimum buffer if the quarantined individuals (who are not infected) engage in conditioning during the quarantine period."

— Eligibility for the regular-season championship.

Winning percentage will be the determining factor, but there's a caveat:

"In order for teams to be eligible for the Conference championship, teams must play no less than three fewer Conference games than the average number of Conference games played by all Conference teams (rounded up/down at .50)."

In addition to those policies, the conference will use the following tiebreaker system to determine seeds for the Pac-12 tournaments in Las Vegas:

Two-team tie

a. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular season.

b. Each team's record (won-lost percentage) vs. the common opponent occupying the highest position in the final regular season standings, and then continuing down through common opponents in the standings until one team gains an advantage.

When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record (won-lost percentage) against the collective tied teams common opponents as a group (prior to that group's own tie-breaking procedure), rather than the performance against individual tied teams common opponents.

c. Won-lost percentage against all Division I opponents.

d. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.

Multi-team tie

a. Results (won-lost percentage) of collective head-to-head competition during the regular season among the tied teams.

b. If more than two teams are still tied, each of the tied team's record (won-lost percentage) vs. the team common opponent occupying the highest position in the final regular season standings, and then continuing down through common opponents in the standings, eliminating tied teams common opponents with inferior records until one team gains an advantage.

When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record (won-lost percentage) against the collective tied teams common opponents as a group (prior to that group's own tie-breaking procedure), rather than the performance against individual tied teams common opponents.

After one team has an advantage and is seeded, all remaining teams in the multiple-team tie-breaker will repeat the multiple-team tie-breaking procedure.

When the multiple-team tie is reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaking procedures will be applied.

c. Winning percentage against all Division I opponents.

d. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.


Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline is brought to KSL.com through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group.


Jon Wilner has been covering college sports for decades and is an AP Top 25 football and basketball voter as well as a Heisman Trophy voter. He was named Beat Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Football Writers Association of America for his coverage of the Pac-12, won first place for feature writing in 2016 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and is a five-time APSE honoree. You can follow him on Twitter @WilnerHotline or send an email at jwilner@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Pac-12 Hotline: Subscribe to the Pac-12 Hotline Newsletter. Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

Jon Wilner

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