There will be no college golf this fall in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The conference’s board of directors announced Wednesday that while football and some other fall sports will be allowed to compete beginning the week of Sept. 7, men’s and women’s golf were among the sports canceled for the fall.
“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said. “The board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”
Golf is joined by men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball in having the fall portion of its season scrapped. Those sports – all multi-season sports that hold their championships in the spring – will be permitted, however, to practice this fall, and individuals can compete unattached to their teams.
Meanwhile, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball will begin conference-only schedules on or shortly after Sept. 10. The first Saturday of ACC football will be Sept. 12.
The ACC’s decision comes after several conferences had already provided updates on fall sports. The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel all fall sports, joined since by six others – Atlantic 10, Colonial, MAAC, MEAC, Patriot League and SWAC. The MEAC’s mandate, however, did not apply to golf, as Augusta coach Jack O’Keefe told GolfChannel.com earlier this week that the Jaguars were moving forward with their fall schedule.
Other conferences, including the Missouri Valley, had delayed the start of fall athletics until mid-September.
Florida State head coach Trey Jones said he hopes the ACC doesn’t set a precedent for the other Power 5 conferences, many of which are expected to announce their fall plans by Friday.
“I understand the sensitivities, and the ultimate importance is all of our players’ safety,” Jones said Wednesday. “Hopefully, this is something other conferences can figure out and the conferences that can find a way to play can play.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of last season in mid-March, there were six ACC men’s teams ranked in Golfstat’s top 25, including No. 5 Wake Forest and No. 7 Georgia Tech. On the women’s side, No. 1 Wake Forest led two other ACC teams in the top 25.