Even with the likelihood of a 2020 football season far from certain — and trending in the wrong direction, due to COVID-19 — ACC programs are in the process of at least planning for the possibility. On Monday, NC State football announced that its official fall camp will begin in a week: Aug. 3, according to a report from Pack Pride.
NC State will open fall camp a month before the Wolfpack are scheduled to play Louisville: Sept. 2. Louisville was initially set to host NC State on Thursday, Sept. 3; however, back in late June, that game was moved up one day.
NC State has officially announced it will begin fall camp on Monday, Aug. 3. One more week, y’all.
— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) July 27, 2020
Around the country, other conferences like the Ivy League and Patriot League have have canceled fall sports due to COVID. The ACC, however, like other Power Five conference, has yet to make a firm decision on what to do with football.
That may prove to be a bit ambitious (a nice way of putting it) given the fact that the virus still rages in America — worse than any other country in the world. Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that colleges in New York that play a fall sports season must do so without fans in attendance, which means no fans for Syracuse home games in 2020.
There’s a chance that the ACC football season could be pushed back, too. But for now, NC State football will open fall camp on Aug. 3 and get ready to play Louisville on Sept. 2.
North Carolina coach Mack Brown stated last week that he believed there will be a 2020 college football season. Around the same time, Gary Stokan, CEO and President of Peach Bowl, Inc., said that the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games remain on the docket, too. According to Stokan, though, there are plans in place to potentially cap attendance capacity at 25, 30 or 50 percent.
However, the realities of the situation can’t be ignored. Michigan State’s football program is in the midst of a 14-day quarantine after a second staff member and one athlete tested positive for COVID-19. Following the coronavirus outbreak with the Miami Marlins, the abridged 2020 MLB season is in serious jeopardy.
All of this news flows out while the NCAA has reportedly advised schools that — after an initially positive test — they don’t have to test a student-athlete again for three months. This entire enterprise, which is the financial-driver of college athletics, feels incredibly rickety and potentially dangerous.
Sources told @Stadium, NCAA advises schools that after a student-athlete has a confirmed positive COVID test, they won’t have to test again for next 3 months unless they show symptoms. For example, players who test positive in July, will not have to test again until October
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 24, 2020
Some domestic professional leagues have found some success during COVID times. The NWSL, MLS, WNBA and NBA have or are currently using bubble concepts to finish their 2020 seasons. These plans featured rigorous testing, social distancing/hygiene practices and no travel. The NWSL wrapped up this weekend; it was a success. So far, the protocols put in place by the NBA and WNBA are working, too.
Unfortunately for college football — and the NFL — those concepts don’t exist; it’s also too late to organize such a massive undertaking, if it was even possible in the first place.