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Clay Helton, Mike Bohn, USC players weigh in on postponement of Pac-12 fall sports

The Pac-12 conference announced the postponement of fall sports on Tuesday afternoon, canceling the fall football season in the hopes that it can potentially be played in the spring. The decision was unanimous among the Pac-12 CEO Group, a collection of the conference’s presidents and chancellors. It was also unanimously disappointing for all involved, from the presidents to the players.

USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn, head coach Clay Helton and many Trojan players voiced their thoughts on the situation.

Mike Bohn:

“On March 12, I wrote what I called the “hardest message I’ve ever had to deliver” in 35+ years as an administrator to our student-athletes, coaches, and staff informing them that winter championships and spring seasons were canceled. Nearly five months to the day, our hearts again ache for our student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni, and fans with the postponement of all sport competitions through the end of the calendar year. Another incomprehensible consequence of an unprecedented time. We wanted to play, we wanted to coach, and we still hope for the opportunity to do both when conditions improve.

During the last several months, our coaches and staff worked tirelessly to develop and implement comprehensive policies and protocols to ensure the health and safety of the many student-athletes welcomed back in our phased return to campus plan. These protocols were communicated regularly through team meetings, informational webinars, step-by-step videos, infographics, and emails. I am in awe of our student-athletes’ discipline and dedication to adhering to all of our guidelines in a profound commitment to themselves, their teammates, and their shared desire to compete. We are indebted to our campus partners, operations staff, and medical team for their leadership and partnership.

In listening to our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee present the latest data over the past few days, it became abundantly clear that, despite our gargantuan efforts locally and as a conference, there is too much uncertainty to move forward with athletics practices and competitions at this time. I would like to thank Dr. Folt for joining with me to advocate for the health and well-being of our student-athletes.

We will do now what we did in March. We will focus our attention forward and get back to work on addressing the challenges that await us in the weeks ahead. The path may be covered in ambiguity, but there is never any doubt about our mission to serve our student-athletes. We are grateful to the Trojan Family for their continued support and encouragement. We will be stronger for having endured this together. We FIGHT as ONe!

Clay Helton:

“Today, guided by the recommendations of our doctors and medical professionals, the Pac-12 Conference has decided to postpone the 2020 football season. While I am extremely disappointed that our student-athletes and coaching staff will not get the opportunity to compete at this time, we will always support decisions that are made to protect the health and safety of our players and staff. I am very proud of how our football team has conducted themselves and for all the hard work they have put in this year in preparation for a season. Our university and athletics department are committed to providing all the services for our student-athletes to function at the highest level, both academically and athletically, while following all county, state, and national guidelines. I am confident that we will come out of this a stronger, more resilient football team and look forward to getting the opportunity to compete and showcase all the hard work that has been put in. Together we will continue to FIGHT ON!”

USC players:

Linebacker Jordan Iosefa

Running back Markese Stepp

Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown

Running back Stephen Carr

Linebacker Ralen Goforth

Cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart

Wide receiver John Jackson III

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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