ACC sports return on Sept. 7th; Football will play 11 games

The Atlantic Coast Conference released its plan for the fall sports season, which includes football playing eleven games, and Olympic sports playing the minimum required by the NCAA.

ACC sports return on Sept. 7th; Football will play 11 games
Dabo Swinney and Bronco Mendenhall with the ACC Trophy (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Sports will be back on the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference in September.

The ACC released its plan for the fall season on Wednesday, and both football and Olympic sports are slated to return during the week of September 7th-12th.

Football teams will play eleven games this season, with ten against ACC opponents, and one non-conference game.

Virginia previously had twelve games in 2020, including eight in the ACC, but that has changed.

Games against Pitt and Georgia Tech were removed from the previous schedule, while BC, FSU, NC State, and Wake Forest were added.

UVA will now play home games against Boston College, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, and NC State.

The Cavaliers will travel to face Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

Virginia will have to travel to Florida twice in 2020, after the game against the Hurricanes was flipped from Home to Away, and match-up with the Seminoles was added.

The Wahoos’ non-conference game has not been announced, but it will be in the commonwealth, as the ACC scheduling model states that all non-conference games must be played in the home state of the ACC institution.

The exact week-to-week schedule for all the teams will be released at a later date.

The games will be played over thirteen weeks, with each team getting two open dates.

There will be just one division in the league this year, and the two teams with the highest-winning percentage in conference games will play in the ACC Championship.

Notre Dame will be eligible for the title, as the Fighting Irish will play an ACC schedule this year.

Television money will be shared equally among the fifteen schools, both from the conference, and from Notre Dame’s contract with NBC.

In Olympic sports, teams will play the NCAA-minimum amount of games for a conference schedule (field hockey - 6, women’s soccer - 6, men’s soccer - 6, and volleyball - 10).

Any non-conference games must meet the ACC medical standards.

Atlantic Coast Conference Media Release

ACC Announces Plans for Football and Fall Olympic Sports

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference recognizes the uncertain and challenging environment all areas of our society are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intercollegiate athletics is just one area that we must address as we work to return to our campuses, bring back students and faculty when possible, and pursue our academic missions and goals as part of higher education. The health, safety and well-being of all our campus constituents is at the forefront of all decisions.

With this in mind, the ACC Board of Directors announced that if public health guidance allows, all seven ACC sponsored fall sports will begin competition during the week of Sept. 7-12. The announcement follows several months of discussion and scenario planning among the league membership and Medical Advisory Group. Each decision is based on the best available medical guidelines and coincides with our universities’ academic missions.

“As we look ahead to the fall, the safety of our students, staff and overall campus community continues to be our top priority,” said Kent Syverud, Chancellor of Syracuse University and the Chair of the ACC Board of Directors. “Today’s announcement outlines a specific path for ACC fall sports to return to intercollegiate athletic competition using comprehensive protocols put forward by our ACC Medical Advisory Group. As a league, we understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information evolves in conjunction with local and state health guidelines.”

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”

The ACC’s Medical Advisory Group, which has been meeting weekly since the spring to share information on the impact of COVID-19 on ACC campuses and intercollegiate athletics, has recommended minimum standards for each campus to follow as fall sports return. Among those recommendations are weekly testing for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing competition areas. The full report is available on theACC.com (CLICK HERE).

Information specific to 2020 competition for both football and the league’s Olympic Sports is included below. The league’s leadership, and its medical advisory group, will continue to meet on a weekly basis to share information and discuss medical issues related to the ACC’s return to play. Should any future adjustments be necessary, the ACC Board of Directors will do so at the appropriate time.

ACC Football:

  • The season’s first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12
  • The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)
  • All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC
  • The 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates
  • There will be one division
  • Notre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship Game
  • All television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutions
  • The ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentage
  • All 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC’s bowl selection process; should Notre Dame win the ACC Football Championship Game they would be eligible for the Orange Bowl, if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team
  • The 2020 ACC Football week-by-week schedule and television selections will be released in the future

ACC Fall Olympic Sports:

  • Fall Olympic Sports competition may begin on Thursday, Sept. 10
  • Team sports will play a conference schedule that meets the NCAA minimum amount of games: field hockey (6), women’s soccer (6), men’s soccer (6) and volleyball (10)
  • Schools will continue to schedule regular season cross country competitions at their discretion
  • Any additional games against conference opponents or non-conference opponents are at the respective school’s discretion and all opponents must meet the ACC’s medical standards
  • Any additional games against conference opponents that are beyond the conference-mandated schedules would not count in the ACC standings
  • The schedule for ACC Fall Championships
  • The cross country championships will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on October 30, and include all fifteen member schools
  • The field hockey championship will be held at Duke University on November 5, 6 and 8
  • The women’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 6 and 8, as previously announced
  • The men’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 13 and 15
  • Television selections via the ACC’s partnership with ESPN and ACC Network will be made in the future

ACC Winter and Spring Olympic Sports:

  • Competition in the sports of swimming and diving, indoor track and field and fencing will be postponed until at least September 10
  • Fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball has been canceled
  • Student-athletes in golf and tennis continue to be eligible to compete unattached
  • Teams in all sports may continue practice at their institution’s discretion

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