Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said Monday that the ACC is on the verge of canceling all spring sports and activities.
The league representatives will hold a conference call Tuesday to expound upon their initial decision last week to suspend all athletic activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some of the other conferences that you’ve seen over the last few days have extended that through the remainder of the spring semester,” Radakovich said during a radio interview with The Press Box on The Roar, the Flagship station of Clemson Athletics. "Last week we did an indefinite call over these activities. I would imagine unless something very unusual happens, the ACC will follow through and cancel all spring activities.”
That would include the Clemson football’s spring game as well as the baseball and softball seasons. The NCAA announced last week that it was canceling all winter and spring championships, but Radakovich was hopeful before this past weekend that parts of the spring schedule could still be salvaged.
Much has changed nationally in a short amount of time due to the Coronavirus.
With Clemson University’s announcement Sunday night that all on-campus classes and activities are canceled through April 5th (the day after the spring game), it already became less likely that spring sports will return in 2020.
“This is an unprecedented situation that we are dealing with and it continues to evolve rapidly,” Radakovich said. “This is not about competition. This is about safety and what we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 amongst our staff, coaches, faculty, university personnel, student-athletes and our fans. It’s that whole Clemson community that we are concerned about. The university is closed to staff. We pushed classes online. We canceled all on-campus events until April 5th and no university-related travel until April 5th.
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“Obviously, that means we don’t have any activities here and that, unfortunately, includes the spring game.”
Radakovich also highlighted the NCAA’s decision to create a dead period in recruiting. There will be no in-person contact between prospects and coaches until at least April 15th.
He also mentioned that the NCAA could announce “additional guidance” this week to increased eligibility for student-athletes in winter and spring sports who have had their seasons cut short.
“Would someone being a senior softball or baseball player for example, golf or tennis, be able to come back again if that’s in their best interest to compete again and how that would affect roster limits and scholarship numbers? That’s to come, and something we will look at in the coming days,” Radakovich said.
He also asked patience for fans seeking refunds or meeting deadlines for season tickets. He said IPTAY and the university will send out information to season-ticket holders about that issue, so there’s no reason to contact the athletic department with those questions at this time.
“We are going to have some conversation with IPTAY and our ticket office as it relates to pending deadlines on tickets and donations. Those will be happening this week so give us a little bit of grace on time as it relates to that, but know there will be information forthcoming,” Radakovich said. “Certainly refunds on baseball and softball, our two ticketed spring events, will be forthcoming as well.”
Radakovich offered some insight into what the process was like informing coaches and players that their season, and some probably believe their careers, was like late last week.
“Its heart wrenching from the standpoint of our student-athletes who have worked so hard over the last month and years to prepare for this season especially those who were in their final year, but we are looking to make sure our student-athletes are taken care of,” Radakovich said. “It was difficult. It's not something we are used to. Competitors compete and we have no ability to do that right now for incredibly great reasons. We are in the same boat as others throughout the country and we want to make sure we are doing our part here to help flatten the curve and help eliminate this virus as quickly as possible.”