'Cuse Connections | John Wildhack on ACC Fall Plans


The Mayor of Dewitt
Aug 15, 2011

Last four months have been "quite the adventure," Wildhack said. He's pleased with the ACC's plan, which creates a path forward for fall sports, not just football.

"If anybody doesn't feel comfortable playing, we will honor their scholarship." Wildhack said there have been meetings with players and their families prior to returning to campus. But they want to be here and they want to play.

Right now, there's potentially only one student-athlete playing a fall sport who might not come back. That's an international student, and that situation might depend on laws and other factors. Haven't had anyone opt out because they're concerned for their health.

For football's one non-conference game, Wildhack says SU's still working with Liberty. Has previously said there are no plans to renew the contract, which expires after the 2021 season.

Has been "some talk" of moving football to the spring if things don't get better, but that's the last option. "If that became our only option, then we'd look at it.

Wildhack said it's "undetermined" if sports would continue if Syracuse shuts down in-person classes. The threshold is 100 positive cases at once.

Wildhack jokes he stayed 20 feet away, rather than 6 feet, from Head Coach Dino Babers when he informed him of the team’s road schedule yesterday.

It doesn't seem like SU will have trouble filling its schedule with a non-conference opponent. Working with WMU and Liberty, since they have pre-existing contracts, but Wildhack said he's fielded plenty of calls with interested programs.

Wildhack says there might be discussions about changes in the ACC football schedule going forward as an aftermath to the elimination of divisions for the upcoming seasons. Wildhack raises how inorganic it seems to play a school like Miami once every 12 years in Coral Gables.

Where do we stand on fans in the stadium? Not in a position right now to have fans, considering state's guidelines. But in a couple months, if things improve in Central New York, Wildhack is hopeful. They're putting together models in terms of potential seating plans.

Threshold on hitting pause on training camp? Depends on the severity of the outbreak. Would consult with health experts at SU and in the county. Going to need to have tremendous discipline in avoiding large gatherings and risky behavior (i.e. Rutgers). Everyone needs to buy in.

My question was geared at the NCAA's announcement regarding athletes promoting social issues on jerseys. Syracuse teams have had discussions about raising awareness through symbolism. They've been productive and Wildhack supports athletes expressing their beliefs.
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