Syracuse Orange head football coach Dino Babers wasn’t the only prominent member of SU athletics to speak to the media on Thursday. In a later session, athletic director John Wildhack and senior deputy athletics director Herman Frazier also shared some remarks and took questions.
First up was the question that’s likely been on your mind for at least a year now: What the hell are we supposed to call the large concrete edifice where the Orange play numerous sports?
Apparently, accordingly to Wildhack, it’s still the Carrier Dome.
John Wildhack: it's the Carrier Dome, that's the name on the wall.— Niko Tamurian (@NikoTamurian) June 11, 2020
The name remains the Carrier Dome, that's the answer to that question
This after a recent announcement referred to the building as “the stadium” and ‘Cuse removed “Carrier” mentions from the media guide last football season. For now, at least, it appears that crusade to rid the venue of its naming rights appears to be on hold. At least on Wildhack’s end, no conversations have occurred with businesses regarding a new naming rights deal. That doesn’t mean those conversations haven’t happened with other university officials, but we’ll admit, that’s also baseless speculation coming from nothing more than a loophole in the language Wildhack used.
A larger focus area for the press conference was COVID-19, its effect on the coming football season and how testing is being handled both this summer and the proposed 2020 campaign. Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota had a very thorough rundown of those details, so would definitely take a look at that. However, some quick highlights:
Samples for those that have returned to campus still out for testing right now
We don’t know if any of the 65 Orange player or the football staff have tested positive yet. If they do, Frazier — who’s leading the coronavirus response for the athletic department — said they’ll be quarantined for 14 days. Cases will also be reported to county authorities, as has been the case all over the U.S. (and specifically in Onondaga County, for our purposes here).
SU hopes for unified testing standards across ACC
We’re months from kickoff still, but if we’re going to get back on the field without issue, testing will have to be standardized at least in part across the league. Current plans are to have the full schedule, but that can change if needed, for Syracuse and every other school across the country. A league-wide standard would at least help protect the eight ACC games each team plays.
Contingency plans already being looked at if non-conference schedule has to be altered
This one more comes from something CNYCentral’s Niko Tamurian flagged. Syracuse — and potentially other schools — are looking into possible plans for what happens if a non-conference opponent can’t play a scheduled game. For the Orange, that list would include Rutgers (week 2), Colgate (week 3), Western Michigan (week 4) and Liberty (week 7). One could assume Buffalo is on speed dial, and Army would be as well. A lot depends on availability on both sides too, though. So perhaps a nearby FCS squad like Cornell would also have to be an option if need be.
Dome seating situation still TBD
You probably figured this, since there has been no real formal announcement. But Wildhack noted that student season tickets, season tickets and premium seat holders would get priority in a reduced-capacity situation. No fans is still on the table. All fans probably is too, but I’d say that’s the least-likely scenario especially given the fact that the Orange play indoors and rates of positive tests appear to be increasing a bit as states and cities open back up.