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Athletic director Mike Bohn comments on USC’s COVID-19 response

USC Athletics announced Thursday that it would be suspending all athletic activity at the school in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Athletic director Mike Bohn often speaks of the close relationship he has with his student-athletes, so he was understandably moved by having to deliver that announcement.

“Our hearts ache for our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, fans, and all those affected throughout the world by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bohn said in a statement released by USC. “The health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of everything we do. Therefore, our university and athletics department support the decisions made today by the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference. These are unprecedented days for all of us. I have communicated to our student-athletes that we are here to support them however we can. Our Trojan Family will be stronger for having endured these challenges together.”

Earlier in the day, the Pac-12 conference announced it would cancel the men’s basketball tournament, which began Wednesday and was slated to tip off four games today. The Pac-12 conference went a step farther as well, announcing the suspensions of all sport competitions, and Pac-12 Championship events. The conference, as well as USC, has been very clear to include “until further notice” as part of these cancelations, allowing for the possibility that they could resume at some point.

USC Athletics announced Thursday that USC spring football would be postponed, with no end date given for the postponement, but not canceling it entirely either. The decision affects football, as well as all spring sports at USC, both in the Pac-12 and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conferences.

The measures are as follows:

  • All practices have been suspended until further notice
  • All camps and clinics have been suspended until further notice
  • All on-and off-campus recruiting and recruiting related travel has been suspended until further notice
  • All non-essential athletics staff will be working remotely through Sunday, March 22, 2020, at which time it will be re-evaluated

USC was set to host a number of unofficial and official visitors this spring, but will have to postpone those visits. The quiet period runs from March 1 through April 14, so football coaches wouldn’t be permitted to meet with student-athletes off campus at this time anyway. But the evaluation period runs from April 15, through May 31, when coaches are able to visit recruits to evaluate them athletically and academically. Recently, the university extended its remote instruction period to run until at least April 14.

In a statement, USC Athletics said it will continue to take direction from the University and its Emergency Operations Center team, along with recommendations from Los Angeles County health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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