Curt Weiler, Tallahassee Democrat
Published 2:40 p.m. ET July 9, 2020 | Updated 3:08 p.m. ET July 9, 2020
SportsPulse: As Christine Brennan points out, the Ivy League’s decisions have often been a tell tale sign for all college sports and it’s time to prepare for a fall without college football.
The start of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2020 athletic season will be delayed.
The conference announced Thursday that it is delaying the start of the 2020 season for all sports until at least Sept. 1 after a unanimous vote from the ACC Board of Directors.
This decision, based on the lingering impact of the coronavirus in the United States, is the first way in which the 2020 ACC sports season has officially been impacted.
“The decision allows each campus to further focus on ensuring return to competition protocols are in place to facilitate the re-socialization process,” the conference said in a release.
Depending on the school, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball could be affected.
Football won’t be affected because the earliest games are scheduled to be held after Sept. 1.
Each school will be responsible for rescheduling any matches, games or meets.
While the ACC became the first major conference to officially announce any such change to its schedule, it has been a growing trend in college athletics.
The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it will not hold any of its fall sports until at least January.
In an interview on ESPN Radio about the state of football and fall sports, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “I’ve been optimistic, but I’m prepared that optimism is not reality.”
This uncertainty about the immediate future of college athletics has forced budget cuts across the country. Stanford announced Wednesday that it will be cutting 11 varsity sports at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. Dartmouth said Thursday it would be cutting men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing.
The ACC acknowledges that while this is the first change, it may not be the last.
“The league continues to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on fall schedules and competitions with the understanding that there may be future changes, and that the priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes,” the conference said.
Follow Weiler on Twitter @CurtMWeiler.