The West Coast Conference, of which the University of San Diego is a member, has joined the growing number of NCAA organizations pushing back the start of sports seasons due to the novel coronavirus.
WCC fall sports programs will not begin prior to September 24. For USD this impacts volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country.
“This is the right call. The health and safety of our scholar-athletes - as well as that of all coaches, staff, officials and other members of the USD and WCC communities - drove this decision and will remain the primary consideration in our decision-making as we move forward,” said USD Director of Athletics Bill McGillis in a statement. “Our focus should be on the reopening of our campuses and the delivery of an outstanding education to our students. At a minimum, a delayed start to competition will allow us nearly six full weeks following the start of classes on August 17 to assess and better understand the impact of COVID-19 on our campus.”
McGillis also notes that the September 24 start date is not set in stone and could change again based on the state of the pandemic. The Toreros football team plays in the Pioneer Football League and is still (as of now) scheduled to open the season at U.C. Davis on September 5.
The decision by the WCC also impacts spring sports. Traditionally baseball, golf, tennis and other sports whose regular seasons begin in January or February get to play a fall season that does not count in the standings. This year “Fall Ball” will also not be able to start prior to September 24.