ACC Delays Decision on Fall Athletics

David Visser

Yesterday, it looked like the dominos were all about to fall. After the Ivy League canceled athletic competition on Wednesday, Thursday saw the Atlantic Coast Conference announce that its fall Olympic sports wouldn't commence competition until September 1, which was followed by the Big Ten's statement that all its fall sports would play only conference games. 

But conferences seemed to take a breath today, as it's been relatively quiet. Well until recently, when news broke that the Pac-12 is following the Big Ten's lead. 

Still, the ACC has elected to punt for the time being, as Commissioner John Swofford issued a statement today announcing that the conference is electing, for the time being at least, to hold off on a decision. 

Here's Swofford's Friday statement:

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators remains the ACC’s top priority. As we continue to work on the best possible path forward for the return of competition, we will do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions. Over the last few months, our conference has prepared numerous scenarios related to the fall athletics season. The league membership and our medical advisory group will make every effort to be as prepared as possible during these unprecedented times, and we anticipate a decision by our Board of Directors in late July.”

As other conferences announce their plans, it'll be interesting to see if the ACC can hold off that long. There's the matter of optics, but also the practical reality that if conferences against which you've scheduled games go in-conference only like the Big Ten and Pac-12, you're basically having decisions made for you.