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The Atlantic Coast Conference has delayed all fall games and exhibitions for Olympic sports until Sept. 1, affecting the Orange’s cross country, soccer, field hockey and volleyball teams.
The delay comes less than a day after the Ivy League announced it would cancel all fall sports.
“The decision allows each campus to further focus on ensuring return-to-competition protocols are in place to facilitate the re-socialization process,” the ACC said in a press release.
Practices for the affected sports can continue during the month of August, and schools will continue their offseason, voluntary workout protocols “in anticipation of a fall season,” according to the release.
Syracuse’s six teams played last August in 14 games or exhibitions, including four Olympic sports. Men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey all had their season-openers before September, and how the ACC’s delay through Sept. 1 will affect those teams in 2020 remains unclear. Football is currently the only sport with a schedule released for this season.
Syracuse announced June 2 that players would start returning to campus on June 8 for voluntary offseason workouts. The workouts began with about 65 football players — separated in pods of 10 and isolated until a negative COVID-19 test result was received — and expanded by about 20 in phase two. Other sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball, have also begun returning players to campus.
Back in March, the Ivy League was the first to cancel both its men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournaments, as well as all spring sports. Over the next two days, all other conferences did the same, sending athletes home for online classes the rest of the semester.
Four months later, athletic departments are crawling through the opening stages of voluntary workouts and attempting to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. Still, dozens of schools have encountered positive tests, forcing some, including North Carolina and Ohio State, to pause the workouts.
The ACC’s decision, which was made “understanding that there may be future changes,” has allowed Syracuse and other conference schools extra flexibility for their preseason timelines — avoiding, at this point, a drastic alteration to the fall sports timeline.
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