Chancellor Gene Block sent the following message to the UCLA campus community:
Earlier today, the Pac-12 Conference made the difficult decision to postpone all fall intercollegiate athletics competitions among its member institutions, which include UCLA, and to examine the possibility of a return to play in the new year. This was a decision that I have discussed at length with our athletic director Martin Jarmond and our health and safety experts, and it is one I fully support. Amid the continuing hazards posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to protect the health and welfare of our student-athletes must remain paramount.
While the postponement of fall competition may not come as a surprise, it is nonetheless a disappointment to Bruins near and far. I am saddened for our student-athletes, many of whom have been training throughout the summer while diligently following safety protocols, yet who will not be able to showcase their talents and compete in the sports they love. Our coaches and staff have similarly invested a great deal of time and energy building modified training programs and flexible competition schedules. And, of course, there are tens of thousands of UCLA students, alumni and fans across the globe who will not be able to come together to cheer for our student-athletes and support our institution in one of the ways we cherish.
The safety of our community must always take precedence, however. Given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases locally and nationally, it has become clear that the increased exposure and travel required for competition would put student-athletes and their support staff at risk.
Suffice it to say, we remain committed to supporting our student-athletes in their studies and as they continue to train for their sports in a safe and responsible manner. Members of UCLA’s athletics teams will remain enrolled in classes, retain allotted scholarship funding, and continue to have access to practice facilities and support services.
As an institution, we are entering a fall term that will be truly unlike any other, and it will require many changes to our usual way of doing things. Once it is safe, we will return to competition. Until then, we must respect the health and well-being of our student-athletes and every member of the campus community. Nothing can be more important than that.
Gene D. Block