SALT LAKE CITY — Utah athletic director Mark Harlan addressed a variety of topics on Wednesday during a media session, one day after the Pac-12 announced it would postpone all sports competition through the end of the 2020 calendar year due to health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harlan called the Pac-12’s medical advice “fantastic,” while also acknowledging the gravity of the situation.
"Obviously yesterday was a real somber day," Mark Harlan says— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 12, 2020
In addition to canceling the fall sports schedule, the move also nixes any Pac-12 play in winter sports before Jan. 1, 2021, including presumably the BYU-Utah basketball game, which was scheduled for Dec. 12.
Harlan says Utah-BYU basketball game will be rescheduled if it becomes possible— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 12, 2020
Not having college football during the fall at the University of Utah for the first time since 1918 will have a significant financial impact as well.
Mark Harlan says not having football this fall could be about a $50-60 million loss— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 12, 2020
Harlan addressed the difficulties and questions surrounding the student-athletes affected by the pandemic and the decisions it’s led to:
Mark Harlan says he anticipates eligibility for fall athletes will be the same as what happened with spring athletes when things shut down in March— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 12, 2020
"I don't think it's feasible for college students to be in a bubble," Harlan said— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 12, 2020
The university is in the process of renovating the south end zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and Harlan gave an update on its progress.