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ACC adjusts football schedule, COVID-19 protocols

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Looks like the ACC listened to Bronco Mendenhall’s advice on COVID-19 protocols.

The conference announced today an adjustment to the protocols that will now require teams to have a PCR test administered on Thursday with a result prior to the visiting team traveling to the game locale.

The chief medical officers from each team will confirm results and attest that there is every expectation that the game will be played.

The adjustment is aimed at mitigating the chances of unnecessary interaction between team members and outside individuals that are inevitable during travel.

Mendenhall had raised issues with the protocols after the fiasco that was the Cavaliers’ road trip to Florida State this past weekend.

Virginia was in Tallahassee when Florida State learned Saturday morning that a player had tested positive for COVID-19, and subsequent contact tracing left the Seminoles with just 44 scholarship players, forcing the cancellation of the game.

“There’s a lot of work that could still be done regarding protocols and regarding ensuring that when you make a trip that you actually have a chance to play the game,” Mendenhall said Monday. “I have expressed those concerns and ideas to the ACC as has Carla [UVA athletics director Carla Williams]. And we can do better is my sincere belief. I think that [FSU head coach Mike] Norvell absolutely wanted to play the game. I think he was hoping we would play the game. Unfortunately, policies and other things prevented us from making an unnecessary trip.”

The league also adjusted its schedule to have the three teams still in contention for spots in the ACC Championship Game – Notre Dame, Clemson and Miami – evaluated based on a nine-game conference schedule, instead of 10.

As a result, Clemson and Notre Dame will conclude the regular season this weekend.

Should a game(s) involving Clemson, Miami or Notre Dame not be played this weekend, the ACC has the option to reschedule games on Dec. 12 as needed.

Based on the current standings and results to date, Notre Dame holds all tiebreakers and has therefore secured a berth in the ACC Football Championship Game.

Wake Forest, which was scheduled to play Notre Dame on Dec. 12, will now play at Louisville. Florida State will play host to Duke on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Florida State will travel to Wake Forest on Dec. 19.

Updated ACC Schedule

Thursday, Dec. 10

  • Pitt at Georgia Tech (previously announced)

Saturday, Dec. 12

  • Virginia at Virginia Tech (previously announced)
  • North Carolina at Miami (previously announced)
  • Duke at Florida State
  • Wake Forest at Louisville

Saturday, Dec. 19

  • ACC Football Championship Game, 4 p.m., ABC (previously announced)
  • Georgia Tech at Miami (previously announced and if Miami is not in the FCG)
  • Florida State at Wake Forest

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