ACC football, other sports to begin week of Sept. 7-12

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Thursday, July 30, 2020
ACC announces plan for fall sports
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ACC announces plan for fall sports.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Atlantic Coast Conference said Wednesday that all seven fall sports will begin competition during the week of Sept. 7-12 -- if public health guidance allows.

"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."

The biggest fall sport, and the driver of so much revenue for universities, is football. 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 league said.

READ MORE: No season tickets for UNC football this season

"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 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates

READ MORE: Duke coach Cutcliffe favored playing only conference games in 2020

There will be one division this year and Notre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship Game.

The ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either Dec. 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentage

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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 later

READ MORE: How some college football teams are prepping for the start of practice

The ACC's Medical Advisory Group, is recommending weekly testing for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing competition areas.


Fall "Olympic Sports" competition may begin Sept. 10.

Team sports, such as soccer and field hockey 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 on Oct. 30, and include all 15 member schools
  • The field hockey championship will be held at Duke University on Nov. 5, 6 and 8
  • The women's soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary on Nov. 6 and 8.
  • The men's soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary on Nov. 13 and 15.

Television selections via the ACC's partnership with ESPN and ACC Network will be made later.

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

NOTE: Video is from a previous story and will be updated.