As Syracuse football regroups following its season-opening loss to North Carolina, the ACC does have a threshold in place for the term to continue on.
When Syracuse football fell to North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, these two squads represented one Atlantic Coast Conference clash among several more that transpired over the weekend.
However, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Virginia Tech announced this past Saturday that its home contest against Virginia slated to occur on Saturday, Sept. 19, will get moved to a later date “stemming from COVID-19 issues at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech will pause its football practices for four days.”
An ESPN.com article by Andrea Adelson notes that, so far, two ACC duels have gotten postposed because of the pandemic, and both of those games include Virginia Tech.
Adelson writes in her piece, “According to a document Virginia Tech released Saturday related to the postponement of its game against Virginia, at least eight of the 15 ACC football teams need to move forward with games in order for the season to continue. Anything below that threshold could lead to a postponement.”
On Sept. 8, league officials issued a statement in which they said that the ACC is proceeding forward with fall sports, including football, but that the conference has flexibility to make adjustments to individuals games and bigger-picture schedules.
Yet all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 means that, really at any juncture, if a team – or teams – report positive cases and games keep on getting delayed, then that could ultimately create some issues for the ACC and the other conferences that are currently competing, such as the Big 12 and the SEC.
If either of those two Power Five leagues ends up dropping its fall football campaign, Adelson says, “along with likely postseason cancellations, the ACC would have to determine whether to continue forward.”
As we’ve noted in the past, final decisions on falls sports in the ACC rest with the league’s board of directors, a group that is chaired by Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud.
The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, team staff members and others who play a role in fall sports will always have to come first.
At the same time, hopefully, Syracuse football and its peers in the ACC as well as around the country will have the opportunity to keep on suiting up.