Over the past week, UNC, NC State, and ECU all provided updates for the number of people who tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within their Athletic Departments.
During the month of June, many college Athletic Departments started the process of testing their student-athletes for the Coronavirus and this week, three universities released their results.
North Carolina State University announced that out of the 315 student-athletes, coaches, and athletic staff tested, only 5 were positive for the Coronavirus testing that took place in May and June 2020. The positive rate was 1.6% for those tested at NC State and include those associated with men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, and other sports and their corresponding staff.
East Carolina University announced that out of 270 performed tests, that there were 15 positive tests from their student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The positive rate for ECU was 5.5% and the university announced that all positive tests will self-isolate and work with the ECU Athletics medical staff to ensure they recover.
In a surprising twist, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill actually made their athletes take a test. The UNC test results revealed that out of 429 performed tests, 37 tested positive for the coronavirus. Their positive rate was significantly higher than NC State’s at 8.6%.
In an extremely misleading headline from CNN, the news outlet announced that UNC was suspending its football program after 37 players and staff tested positive. However, despite CNN’s wishes, the 37 people were not all associated with the football team and actually included other athletic sports programs. The university also did not really suspend its football program, it just paused football workouts that were already voluntary to start out with.
ACC Football expected to have Conference only schedule
The news of the virus testing results was immediately followed by rumors that the ACC is planning to only have conference football games this fall. If true, the ACC would be following the lead of the Big Ten Football Conference which has already announced their universities will only be playing conference games in the fall.
The announcement is a positive step, as the conference and NCAA in general have provided little to no information as to how Fall athletics would take place, but it is still not enough. Many questions still exist about fall sports in the ACC and the state of North Carolina. Will there be fans in the stands? Will teams from hotspots (Syracuse) be allowed to travel to play away games? What happens if players start to test positive during the season? Will non-power 5 teams (ECU) play games? Will non-revenue sports teams play their season in the fall? All these questions and more still remain, hopefully the NCAA and ACC have a plan.