Just this morning, we were wondering how the Ivy League cancelling fall sports would impact other conferences around the country. We don’t know the full scope yet, but the ACC does seem to be taking some steps toward larger changes to its own fall sports schedule.
As first reported by SI.com’s Pat Forde, the ACC will not hold any athletic competitions prior to September 1 of this year. The ACC has since confirmed, and notes that schools themselves will handle any required rescheduling.
That doesn’t affect football, since the conference’s first game this coming season is on September 2 (NC State at Louisville). However, it does create some changes for sports that typically get going sooner — including men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball (and sometimes cross country). With multiple ACC schools suspending voluntary workouts this offseason due to higher numbers of positive COVID-19 tests, this shouldn’t necessarily surprise.
It also seems unlikely to be the final announcement on this front. The ACC’s own release even notes delays until “at least” September 1, and there’s an emphasis on campuses using that time to further ensure a safe return to competition. Given current rising cases, that gets potentially more difficult over time.
Mentioned this in the article earlier on Thursday, but could see us looking at a conference-only season with no fans that potentially splits time between fall and next spring. It’s still going to mean conferences and schools are missing out on millions of dollars in gate receipts — plus the lost TV revenues from fewer games. But that seems like the only way we’re going to see fall sports at all this year, barring some major breakthrough.
Like everyone else, we’ll be writing up new information around sports’ potential return this fall as it becomes available.