The ACC announced via an official Wednesday statement that the league intends to start all seven sponsored fall sports competitions, including football, from Sept. 7-12 "if public health guidance allows" amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
ACC football teams will complete a "10 plus one" model that involves playing 10 conference opponents plus one nonconference opponent with two bye weeks included. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will also play under these league rules and, thus, will be eligible to compete in the ACC Championship Game.
That championship contest will happen on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium, the home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. It will feature the two teams with the highest conference winning percentages.
All nonconference games are to occur in the home state of the ACC program, and there will be only one division for the altered 2020 campaign.
The ACC tweeted an image of the schedule model:
A full week-by-week schedule will be released at some point down the road. No date for that release was mentioned in the announcement.
In the prepared statement, ACC commissioner John Swofford said:
"Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference. 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."
Jon Solomon of The Aspen Institute Project Play tweeted some of the ACC's listed healthy and safety protocols for protecting athletes during the uncontrolled virus outbreak:
ACC protocol: Athletes who test positive are isolated for at least 10 days. Athletes who test positive don’t have weekly pre-game testing again for 90 days (pending new science that may change this). There is no mention of the number of cases needed to shut down sports.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonAspen) July 29, 2020
ACC protocols: Teams in all sports must report positive test results to their opponent no later than 24 hours of receiving the result. The affected individual’s role (e.g. OL, QB, assistant coach, trainer, setter) and summary of interactions with opponent must be shared.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonAspen) July 29, 2020