Deal for rapid point-of-care tests could be “game-changer” for Pac-12

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The Pac-12 followed the Big Ten in postponing fall sports. But now, after securing a deal for daily COVID-19 tests that can yield results in 15 minutes, Pac-12 sports could return sooner than later.

The conference announced a partnership with Quidel Corporation for daily testing of athletes for coronavirus.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called the development a “game-changer.”

“I’m hopeful today’s news and what’s coming from the NCAA will provide a pathway to start before Jan. 1,” possibly in men’s and women’s basketball, Scott said Thursday, via Jeff Metcalfe of the Arizona Republic.

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball oversight committee has proposed a Nov. 25 competition start date for the 2020-21 season, which the Division I Council still must approve.

Scott and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren have discussed starting their conference football schedules at the same time to allow for a modified bowl schedule.

The SEC, ACC and Big 12 soon begin football in the traditional fall season.

“When we made our decision not to start competition before Jan. 1, that was based on the information in front of us,” Scott said. “Leading with what public health authorities will allow us to do and not having to the kind of testing we will now have access to by the end of the month.”