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Pac-12 Says Teams Must Forfeit Games If Unable to Play Due to COVID-19

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The Pac-12 announced Thursday that teams that cause COVID-19 cancellations will receive a forfeit during the 2021 season.

The conference amended its rules regarding forfeits in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Games that were canceled last season did not result in forfeits. For example, no football team played more than six games in 2020. USC posted the league's best record in 2020 at 5–1, while Oregon and Stanford finished 4–2.

"Any forfeited contest shall be regarded as a conference loss for the team making the forfeit and a conference win for its opponent," the Pac-12 said in a statement. "The Pac-12 rule provides the Commissioner with discretion to determine whether an institution is at fault or primarily at fault for an instability to play a contest based on the facts of the situation."

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The Pac-12 updated its return-to-play protocols last month. Vaccinated players and coaches are no longer required to undergo COVID-19 testing, nor will they have to quarantine after being exposed to players who test positive. 

Unvaccinated team personnel will be required to undergo regular testing and wear a mask indoors, per ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. Those who are not vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 will be required to have a 10-day quarantine period.

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