Concerns surrounding positive cases of COVID-19 within the Virginia Tech football team have led to the postponement of the much-anticipated season opener between the Hokies and rival University of Virginia.
The game would have been played in Blacksburg on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Now, the two schools said they will work with the Atlantic Coast Conference to find a new date.
Virginia Tech also announced it would pause its practices for four days.
The teams will now start their seasons later, with Virginia Tech scheduled to open on Sept. 26 against North Carolina State.
A few hours after the original announcement, during which Virginia said it would not play until Oct. 3 against Clemson, the school announced that it will in fact start the season on Sept. 26 against Duke.
🚨Schedule Alert 🚨
Our home game 🆚 Duke has been moved to Sept. 26
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) September 12, 2020
In a news release, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said “the safety, as well as the physical and mental well-being of these young men and women entrusted to our care by their families remains our top priority.”
U.Va. Director of Athletics Carla Williams said she was contacted by Virginia Tech on Friday to discuss moving the game to later this fall.
“With so much uncertainty, flexibility in scheduling becomes incredibly important,” Williams said. “I know both teams and both fan bases were looking forward to opening the season next weekend. We’ll work with the conference and Virginia Tech to reschedule.”
Babcock said he remains optimistic the ACC schedule can be played in the face of the pandemic — not only bigger sports like football, but other sports set to be played in 2020.
“My primary concern continues to be the well-being of the student-athletes on our football team,” Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente said. “I hurt for them because I know how badly they want to compete.”
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