The Pac-12 made it two weeks without a hitch, and then, Monday evening, word came from the conference’s southernmost campus:

Arizona has paused its football re-entry plan.

The move didn’t come as a result of a coronavirus outbreak on campus or within the program — quite the opposite, in fact:

There has been just one positive test for Covid-19 among the 83 administered to athletes across multiple sports.

Jon Wilner’s Pac-12 Hotline is brought to The Seattle Times through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group. Wilner has been covering college athletics for decades and is a voter in the basketball and football AP polls, as well as the Heisman trophy. He shares his expert analysis and opinions on the conference for the Pac-12 Hotline.

Rather, the pause comes as a result of internal caution and external circumstance:

The rising number of cases in Pima County that are reflective a surge across the state, where Gov. Doug Ducey’s reopening plan — such as it was — has gone awry.


Arizona has become a sizzling spot for the virus, with a positive test rate over 20 percent.

Two UW athletes test positive for the coronavirus and enter ‘COVID-19 care and quarantine protocols’

(It wasn’t long ago that Ducey offered up Arizona as a haven for out-of-state teams in need of a place to practice and compete. Now, his teams would be better off just about anywhere else.)

There is no word out of Tempe on an adjustment to Arizona State’s path forward, and we’re not sure when the Wildcats will restart workouts.

But we know this: The Wildcats are scheduled to begin the formal portion of their preseason on July 6 — Monday — which is earlier than most because of their Week Zero opener against Hawaii.

The suspension of activity in Tucson is a psychological setback for the conference and a reminder of the challenges facing major college football’s push for an on-time start to the season.


But there’s no material impact on the other programs, which are proceeding at a pace suitable for the local health situation.

Here’s a rundown of what we know across the Pac-12:

Positive tests: One
Details: We don’t know which sport produced the positive, but based on Arizona’s re-entry plan, at least 40 football players have been tested.

Arizona State
Positive tests: N/A
Details: The Sun Devils opened their doors on June 15 but are not disclosing test data for athletes, per a decision by the university. Given developments in Tucson, however, we won’t be surprised if the Sun Devils hit pause, as well.

Positive tests: Three
Details: The Bears released their first round of test data after the newsletter was distributed to subscribers. It has been updated here. A total of 96 athletes, in football and other sports, have been tested.

Positive tests: Four
Details: That’s four athletes, not necessarily four football players. Athletic director Rick George provided the update in the first half of June, but CU has been quiet since then as it determines if/how it will release test results.


Positive tests: N/A
Details: The university is only releasing the number of positive tests for all students, not specifically for athletes. So far, there have been 10. How many play football? Probably a few.

Oregon State
Positive tests: One
Details: We don’t know if the positive came from football or not, but so far, so good in Corvallis. And bravo, Beavers, on the transparency.

Positive tests: N/A
Details: There are no specifics yet from the Cardinal, which may or may not release the test totals and results. (We’re awaiting an explanation of the school’s policy.)

Positive results: N/A
Details: The university has opted for the cone of silence with regard to releasing test results. In that respect, the private school a few miles away is making UCLA look bad …

Positive tests: One
Details: The Trojans have set the standard for transparency, announcing not only the raw numbers but some sport-specific data. USC has tested 69 athletes, including 56 football players. Thus far, only one positive. Given that only athletes from the L.A. area have returned for workouts — and given the prevalence of Covid-19 in Southern California — that’s impressive.

Positive tests: N/A
Details: Add Utah to the list of schools not releasing test results — a decision made by the athletic department that’s “consistent with university protocol,” according to a spokesperson.


Positive tests: Two
Details: The Huskies have taken the high road with transparency, announcing in recent weeks that they have tested 119 athletes and gotten two positive results. We don’t know if either is from football.

Washington State
Positive tests: Zero
Details: The Cougars tested approximately 60 athletes in early June and had no positives, according to athletic director Pat Chun.

That’s 10 positive tests in the conference — 10 known positive tests. We’ll assume there have been more, perhaps plenty more — and perhaps plenty more from the football programs.

But through two weeks, the Pac-12 restart is unfolding as planned — at least on 11 campuses.