John Swofford says ACC preparing many different coronavirus scenarios


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Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said Thursday that while the conference is anticipating having a relatively normal football season, it also is financially planning for a series of scenarios amid the coronavirus pandemic that not only include having no football season, but also having no sports at all this upcoming school year.

Swofford also said he believes it will not be necessary for all of the ACC schools’ programs to be operational for the conference to conduct fall sports competition.

Speaking via teleconference after the conclusion of the ACC’s annual spring meetings, Swofford said the conference’s scenarios for the upcoming school year also cover having an abbreviated football season and having no football season but then having a basketball season.   

“I would emphasize that we are going into this year with the anticipation of playing (football and other fall sports) at this point in time,” Swofford said. “Most all of our institutions have indicated that they intend to open in various fashions as we go into the fall. But there’s a lot that can happen between now and then.

“But I think you’ll find our campuses moving forward athletically to try to be ready in every way, shape and form to open the fall sports season and then if we’re not able to do that, when that time comes, be prepared to do it in whatever abbreviated fashion we can do so.”

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ACC commissioner John Swofford in 2019. (Photo: Chuck Burton, AP)

Asked whether he can see the ACC functioning if some schools and/or some athletics programs are up and running and some are not, Swofford said: “I think probably so. I don’t know what the threshold is on that. We haven’t really reached a point of having that discussion. I’m sure we will in due time as to whether it’s three-fourths or two-thirds or 50 percent or whatever it might be.

“But I don’t think some schools not being able to compete necessarily keeps a majority of the schools who could compete from competing. It’s premature to answer that question fully at this point.” 

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