ACC Schools Won’t Begin Competition in Fall Sports until At Least September

The ACC has decided that its member schools will not have any athletic competition through at least August, including exhibition and non-conference events. The conference is hoping for more time to gather information and data on the coronavirus before moving forward with its competition seasons.

With most ACC schools scheduled to return to classes in August, the start of fall sports season is rapidly approaching.

NCAA Division I Fall Sports:

  • Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
  • Women’s Field Hockey
  • Men’s Football
  • Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Women’s Volleyball
  • Men’s Water Polo (no ACC schools sponsor a varsity team)

ACC schools will continue with return to competition protocols in anticipation of a fall season, the conference said. Any rescheduling of contests impacted by the decision will be determined by schools.

Traditionally, early-season competition starts in August for some of these sports, but NCAA president Mark Emmert has already said that there won’t be a uniform start date for every sport and every season this year.

Football wasn’t specifically listed in the announcement, but ACC football games weren’t scheduled to begin until September anyway.

Historically, the college football season starts in August. Last season, a game between ACC team Miami and SEC team Florida in Orlando opened up the ACC schedule on August 24th, with the first full weekend of ACC football running from August 29-August 31.

This year, the first ACC football game is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, between NC State and Louisville. By delaying the start of other sports competition until that weekend as well, the ACC should have an answer as to whether football will be allowed to continue, and in what capacity before deciding whether or not to cancel the whole season for fall sports.

Uncertainty related to coronavirus has led most schools to not yet announced full athletics schedules for the 2020-2021 academic year.

While no schools in the ACC have varsity men’s water polo teams, in all of the other NCAA Division I fall sports, early-season competition in August is the norm.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 months ago

Here comes the domino effect.

Reply to  Changes
11 months ago

They’re moving events back 2 weeks likely just to help with the transition to adjusting to a full student body back on campus. This isn’t a huge deal. If power 5 conferences do what the Ivy League did, then there might be some cause for concern

Reply to  JCO
11 months ago

“The league continues to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on fall schedules and competitions with the understanding that there may be future changes, and that the priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes.”

The Importer AND Exporter
Reply to  Changes
11 months ago

Yep. The key is the non conference piece – Power 5 non conference games are big paydays for the other teams, and I fear once the P5 start announcing no non conference games that mid majors will start cutting sports with more gusto and even less notice.

Reply to  The Importer AND Exporter
11 months ago

BIG10 will be announcing later this afternoon they will be playing a conference only football schedule. This will likely start a trend; PAC12 has discussed as well, This has huge ramifications for the teams from Group of 5 conferences that were scheduled to play at BIG10 stadiums for big pay days.

11 months ago

Other sources say just Olympic sports

ct swim fan
11 months ago

Looking at the above sports, football seems to be the one that there is no way to ever socially distance. That would seem to be a problem unless there is close to zero cases of the virus in the states the college is in. Swimming meanwhile, seems to be one of the safer sports going forward. Fingers crossed.

2021 skeptic
Reply to  ct swim fan
11 months ago

Good thing college football’s biggest teams are in states like Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. They all seem to have things well in hand.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »