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The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that teams with insufficient players due to positive COVID-19 cases won’t be forced to forfeit anymore. The change in coronavirus game rescheduling policy was announced on Wednesday, courtesy of a unanimous vote from the conference’s athletic directors.
For men’s and women’s basketball, the conference has adopted a new “seven-and-one” policy that requires a team to have seven available athletes and one available coach. The policy takes effect immediately.
If a team doesn’t have that many players available, “the game shall be a no contest,” according to the ACC’s announcement, though the game should be rescheduled if possible. If a team has the required personnel but refuses to play, only then will the game be a forfeit.
Previously, teams with an insufficient number of available players related to COVID-19 issues were assigned an automatic loss in the conference standings. That rule was put into place in August 2021 but is being removed four months later.
“Right now, it’s supposed to be forfeits in the league, and I think that’s a big mistake,” head coach Jim Boeheim said Tuesday on TK99’s radio show Gomez & Company. “That can really crush you. So hopefully they’ll look at that strategy and not do that, but we’ll see what happens.”
A day later, the ACC adjusted its rules. Syracuse men’s basketball had roughly 14 players test positive for COVID-19 last week, Boeheim said. The entire team is vaccinated and received the booster shot, the head coach said. Buddy Boeheim said that he and at least three other starters were among the positive cases.
The Orange had to postpone games against Lehigh and Cornell as a result, but are scheduled to play three games in six days when they return to the court on Dec. 27 against Brown. From there, SU faces Georgia Tech on Dec. 29 and Virginia on Jan. 1.
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