Mack Brown: UNC football will continue to test once per week

Amid the on-campus chaos, as the university pivots to fully online undergraduate class for the fall semester due to pockets of COVID-19 cases, the UNC football continues to press on.

During a Zoom call with the media on Tuesday, head coach Mack Brown remained steadfast in his belief that a 2020 football season will take place. (As any other rational human being could understand, Brown was unsurprised by the COVID-19 outbreaks on campus this week. It should also be noted that the university’s decision to bring students to campus during a pandemic will have consequence for the surrounding communities, too.)

Brown also stated that UNC football will continue to test once per week for the remainder of the 2020 football season.

Brown has handled the last few months with patience and critical restraint; however, these testing standards get at one of the key issues facing the ACC. There’s a lack of congruency throughout the league.

Last week, Syracuse football players sat out of practice while athletic director John Wildhack called on other ACC programs to do as Syracuse has done: commit to testing football players at least twice a week. (Wildhack also expressed concern over Liberty University’s testing policies, or lack thereof, for its football. Syracuse and Liberty are still scheduled to play against one another Oct. 17, though.)

Testing athletes once per week also runs counter to what other Power Five leagues — ones that intend to play football this fall, too — have committed to doing.

Hopefully, the ACC will get this message: testing standards and safety protocols should be strengthened and uniform throughout the entire conference. It’s risky enough to try and pull off a football season in the middle of a global pandemic; however, any effort with this type of incongruence feels rickety — at best.


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