The upcoming college football season is suddenly becoming very real. With the ACC's first set of games taking place on Sept. 12, the conference is rolling out additional safety measures.
A release from the league specified that all team members in fall sports, including football, will be tested three times a week, commencing the first week of competition. Of those three, one PCR test will be administered within three days of competition. For football specifically, one test must also be performed the day before a game and another within 48 hours of the game's conclusion. Specifically, the test administered the day before a game will be conducted by a third party selected by the ACC.
Additionally, the league is taking the following steps:
- Athletes who test positive will undergo cardiac evaluation -- which includes an electrocardiogram, a troponin test and echocardiogram -- before they are allowed to return to their normal routine.
- The league will eliminate non-essential personnel from the sidelines. Essential personnel will be subject to temperature screening, symptom checks, physical distancing and will need to wear a mask.
The three tests per week has become standard practice among conferences playing football in the fall, including the Big 12, SEC and Conference USA, as first reported by CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. The ACC and Big 12 have also mandated that nonconference opponents must adhere to testing policies that meet their specific requirements.
The ACC will play an 11-game schedule -- a 10-game conference slate plus a nonconference matchup -- with two open weeks built in for each team.