CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Atlantic Coast Conference released a statement on Tuesday saying it would not be suspending its fall sports season, after the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced their cancellations earlier in the day.
The Big Ten became the first Power Five conference to make the move, and suspended its entire fall sports schedule, including football.
The league had announced its 2020 football schedule just six days ago.
The Pac-12 quickly followed the lead of the Big Ten, and canceled all sports seasons through the end of the calendar year.
They would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1st, if conditions improve.
The statement issued by the ACC says the league will stay flexible during an evolving landscape, but they are pleased with the current protocols in place.
UVA football head coach Bronco Mendenhall says playing in the spring would allow the opportunity for more education, but also presents other problems, and the college players don’t have the same protection as professional athletes.
“There just has to be more clarity on how to keep football players safe,” says Mendenhall. “Not being in the NBA Bubble, where they don’t have to leave. We’re managing ten-times the numbers, and we’re asking them to leave the bubble, and then come back into it. So go back and forth, and then maintain health and safety. The challenge is bigger. As the Big Ten has chosen, they probably weren’t comfortable with that in-and-out approach to health and safety of players. The possibility of spring buys more time, and possibly more answers, but still, there would be a lot of work to do between now and then.”
Virginia is scheduled to kickoff the season on September 11th at home against VMI.
Statement from the Atlantic Coast Conference:
“The ACC will continue to make decisions based on medical advice, inclusive of our Medical Advisory Group, local and state health guidelines, and do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions. The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administrated on our 15 campuses. We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well. We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves.”