The Cavaliers (4-4, 3-4) arrived in Tallahassee on Friday evening.
“It would be very difficult to understand, knowing that contact tracking is part of the action,” Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday during a Zoom call to the media when asked about the possibility of the game with Virginia already moving in town. “I’m not a medical professional, but it would be a challenge to be there with your team and then be sent home.”
It is unclear when the game could be postponed. Virginia does not have an open Saturday for the remainder of the regular season. The Cavaliers are slated to host Boston College this weekend before closing at Virginia Tech.
The Seminoles (2-6, 1-6) have an open date on December 12th, the last Saturday of the regular season. The ACC championship game will take place in Charlotte on December 19th.
“We deeply regret that many Florida state and Virginia fans have already traveled to the game, as has the Virginia team,” said David Coburn, Florida state sports director, in a statement. “We just had no way of knowing that we wouldn’t play until this morning. We made every effort to play but we couldn’t do it in a way that was safe for the players. “
Florida State had canceled its second game in as many weeks. Last week the Seminoles faced Clemson No. 4 until the schools medical staff couldn’t reach an agreement on the players’ safety a few hours before kick-off. Tiger’s coach Dabo Sweeney criticized the Florida state’s decision, saying the Seminoles used a positive test in Clemson’s locker room as an excuse not to play the two-time college football playoff champions.
Mendenhall suggested on Monday that the ACC could consider using an independent third party to help determine whether a game is safe to play.
“When it comes to the negotiations in the end, possibly like Clemson and Florida State, that would certainly have helped,” he said. “It’s hard to predict all of these things before the season starts. There is something new almost every week. “
The Cavaliers have managed to avoid a major outbreak and are among a handful of schools in the ACC that won’t postpone or cancel a game due to virus-related issues in their locker room.
Virginia has had several instances where either on game day or the day before kick-off it has learned that its opponent cannot play. The Cavaliers game against Louisville was postponed from November 7-14 when the Cardinals reported an outbreak.
Virginia’s season opener against Virginia Tech, slated for September 19 in Blacksburg, was postponed to December 12 after the Hokies dropped football activities on the heels of a spike in cases in their locker room.
Other ACC programs that have had games postponed or football activity suspended include Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, the state of North Carolina, and Notre Dame, which is a football member of the conference for this season only.
“Positive tests are what happens,” said Mendenhall, “and we’ll take extra players with us if that happens. So when you’ve already got to that particular place and have eased as many circumstances as possible.” When you’re not playing, it’s hard to imagine what the deal breaker is. “