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.