The ACC Football season is scheduled to kick off on September 8th when Miami hosts UAB. With the season now rapidly approaching, ACC Commissioner John Swofford was a guest on The Packer and Durham Show on Friday.
Despite a number of schools moving to online only classes inside the league, Swofford says that as of now they still plan to move ahead with playing and thinks they can do so as safely as possible.
“So far, our board in the ACC, which is our presidents, has continued to believe that is the case and that is why we have consistently stayed with the process we have had for the last five months and consistently stayed, so far, with the idea that we can mitigate it and play safely and that is the best thing for our student-athletes,” Swofford said. “So, every week is different and, as I said, the students coming back to our campuses changes that environment and hopefully, it can be managed in an appropriate way that continues for us to have the answers that we have had the last few weeks in terms of going ahead with playing. But every day is a new day and every week is a new week and so far, we have stayed on that path, as has the SEC and the Big 12.”
Swofford admits there is a lack of consistency with medical advice throughout the country, but says that inconsistency also stretches into the medical field itself.
“Because there is a certain lack of consistency as to what we hear from the medical profession, and I think that and the fact that goes with that, is that there are unknowns. Certainly, for the layman, but also for those in the medical profession,” Swofford said. “I think another thing that goes with it is that it shows the medical people can look at the same information and interpret it differently and feel differently about your ability to mitigate it in terms of playing sports in our instance and doing it safely.”
At the end of the day though, Swofford is extremely confident in the advice his league’s own medical advisors have given them, and as of today they are pushing ahead.
“We have been extremely pleased with our medical group that was put together a month ago with representatives from each of the fifteen institutions,” Swofford said. “As well as the doctors outside of that group that they had brought in as consultants in giving advice to our presidents and to our athletic directors.”
“Dr. Cameron Wolfe at Duke has just been tremendous in chairing that group,” the Commissioner said. “The whole effort is really aimed at answering the question: Can we play safely? And can we mitigate the virus in a way that keeps our student-athletes and others around the program and involved with the competition sake and therefore is it appropriate to go forward with it?”