In the wake of a petition that began circulating this week aimed at allowing parents of Pac-12 football players to be able to watch their sons play in person this year, the conference clarified it will allow such attendance where permitted by health officials.
"The Pac-12 confirms that the Pac-12 CEO Group on September 24 approved student-athlete families to be able to attend football games this season, subject to local public health authority approval and in accordance with NCAA guidelines," the conference said in a statement. "Each of our member schools is working through what will be allowed in terms of family member attendance on that basis."
The petition, which was shared on Twitter by Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, is addressed to the governors of the six states with Pac-12 schools, plus Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and is signed by "Parents and Families of Football Players in the PAC 12." It expresses a belief that safe attendance for family members can easily be accomplished in large outdoor stadiums.
"Families of football players in the PAC 12 make many sacrifices so that their sons can play football and serve their universities as well as the vast community of college football fans throughout the nation who will be watching the games on tv," the petition said. "Our sons are often practicing or playing during holiday breaks making them unavailable to spend time with their families -- precious time that families of students who do not play football get to spend together."
It is unclear which states could be receptive to the proposal. The conference will not allow fans from the general public to attend games in person, in any sport, until at least January, when it will revisit the possibility using updated health and safety guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It would mean a great deal," Stanford quarterback Davis Mills said Wednesday. "This potentially could be my last season of college football and if my parents or close friends weren't able to see that, it'd be tough. But I kind of have the mindset right now that whatever we got to do to play, we got to do that because I'm excited to get this season moving forward."
California does not allow fans to attend sporting events, and Stanford did not receive clearance to practice on its own campus until this week.