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USC football could start practicing as soon as the weekend with county approval

Sep 16, 2020, 3:47 PM EDT
Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown of USC football. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown of USC football. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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With county approval in hand, USC football could start practicing as soon as the weekend.

In the words of Trojan great Will Ferrell: That escalated quickly.

On Wednesday night, USC worked together with UCLA to get the go-ahead from LA county officials to begin full-contact practices, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.

In the span of a day, USC cleared two of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of their return to the field/ California Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the restriction on the number of players who can practice together and Los Angeles officials cleared the way for 11-on-11 practicing.

Now, USC needs only the Pac-12’s approval to get onto the practice field, and that could come as soon as Friday, Wilner reported.

USC football is on the verge of returning to practice after clearing major hurdles.

Trojan players can claim some credit for the swift turn around from the Pac-12. On Tuesday night they sparked pressure on the government and the conference when they released a letter intended for Newsom asking the governor to let them play.

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When the Big Ten announced their official plan to return on Wednesday morning, Newsom and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott had a meeting and, after some bizarre confusion, concluded that state restrictions limiting players to practice in 12-man cohorts would be adjusted.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s governor Kate Brown gave the universities in her state a waiver to proceed with practices as well.

Wednesday’s developments mean four of the six schools that were previously restricted from practicing have been given the all-clear. Stanford and Cal will need to work with their local officials to gain the same approval.

If everyone works quickly, the Pac-12 could vote to restart by Friday when the Pac-12 presidents gather for a pre-scheduled meeting. Theoretically, practices could then begin by next Monday, if not earlier.

That’s a key factor because the Pac-12 is in a race against time. If they want to be involved in the College Football Playoff, they need to get the season started by the end of October.

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The 24th would be an ideal time to match the Big Ten, but that would not allow for a full six weeks of practice. A Halloween kickoff would give the conference eight weeks to play before the College Football Playoff selection committee is set to pick playoff semifinalists.

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