With the 2020 college football season on the very near horizon the Atlantic Coast Conference announced on Tuesday that it is moving forward with its plans to attempt to play the season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ACC’s principal priority as we approach fall competition is the mental and physical wellbeing of our student-athletes,” the conference’s statement read. “At each of our member institutions, our athletic directors and coaches have had conversations with student-athletes about returning to competition and attendant risks. After listening to our student-athletes, and considering the further advice of our Medical Advisory Group, the Atlantic Coast Conference continues to proceed with its plans for competition in fall sports.
“The majority of our student-athletes have indicated they wish to compete if public health permits, and that they have worked hard to enable themselves to compete safely. Any student-athlete must and will be able to choose not to compete at any time this season without losing scholarship support, and the decision to compete or not compete will not cost the student a season of eligibility.
“The public health situation is dynamic and uneven in the United States and at our member institutions. The ACC will regularly monitor the changing situation and is prepared at any time to adjust schedules and games to reflect changes in that situation. The ACC will also respect the decisions of individual schools as they continually assess the public health situation affecting their students and communities. As it has done all year, the ACC will carefully reevaluate the public health needs as we go along, relying on public health expertise and putting the health and safety of our surrounding communities at the center of our decision-making.”
The conference’s 15 football teams will begin their 2020 seasons with Miami hosting UAB at 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Ten other teams will begin play on Saturday, including Pitt, which kicks off its 2020 season against Austin Peay at 4 p.m.