At one point, real doubts started to creep into the mind of University of Louisville Athletic Director Vince Tyra regarding the upcoming football season.
Mid-way through July, optimism started to turn to skepticism around the sport due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the steps that Louisville has taken, Tyra admitted that there was a "tight window" to start football on time - or at least hold a somewhat normal season.
But now some of that optimism has been restored.
On Wednesday, the ACC's Board of Directors voted to move to a scheduling model consisting of 10 conference games & one non-conference game follows several months of discussions between the league members and the ACC Medical Advisory Group. It's a move that give Tyra a lot more hope that a season will take place.
"I have a high level of optimism around a quasi-normal season," Tyra said in a teleconference with reporters Thursday. "I feel a lot better today with what we've laid out for all these sports than I did a week ago"
Prior to this move, Tyra admits that there were concerns with having non-conference schools across all fall sports living up to the COVID-19 precautions set forth by the ACC.
"I think that the changes we've made here are pretty thoughtful, and give us a much better chance of trying to complete a 'full schedule'," he said.
As part of the new scheduling model, the conference set forth a variety of minimum standards that must be met be all 15 league members and the non-conference game that each team will add. This includes testing, reporting positive results, protocols for personnel, sanitization, close contact procedures and others.
So far, Tyra is content by both the uniformity instituted by the conference and the cooperation by league members.
"I'm pleased with what I'm seeing and the way the other ACC schools are handling their testing protocols.and return to campus," he said. "I feel like we're closer to uniformity going into August than we were going into June when kids were returning to campus. That makes me feel better in terms of all of us being on the same page, and that's incredibly important."
Tyra believes that Louisville's full week-by-week schedule, including their non-conference game, will not be released for at least a couple weeks. The Cards' first game of the 2020 season under tis new model will now take place the week of Sept. 7-12.
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