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ACC *Rightfully* Reverses Stance On Forfeit Policy Due To COVID

Syracuse Men’s Basketball is in the midst of a two game postponement period. The Orange pushed back, and probably will eventually cancel, their dates with Lehigh and Cornell. To make up for it, SU has added a matchup with Brown on December 27.

In a recent appearance on the “Gomez & Company Morning Show” on TK-99, Jim Boeheim said that the majority of his team has tested positive.

“Last year we probably had 10 out of our 20 players and managers who had Covid and many of them were sick,’’ Boeheim said. “This year we have probably 14 out of 20 in this last week that were hit with COVID. Many are asymptomatic and all are not sick. None of them are sick more than a day or so beyond being tired. It’s obvious the one thing we can prove is the vaccine — all of our players have had it and they’ve all had the booster — that the vaccine definitely made it easier for them to get through it.”

Reports have said that starters Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard, Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider all tested positive for the virus over the past week. 

This issue is not only impacting Syracuse. A plethora of college basketball games across the country are being postponed or canceled. Professional sports are also dealing with athletes going into health and safety protocols on a regular basis. It seems like every time you refresh your Twitter feed, there is another player testing positive or a game being rescheduled.

At the beginning of the season, the ACC announced a policy that stated if teams could not play due to COVID complications, they would have to forfeit the game and the other team would be awarded the win. With more and more teams having scheduling issues, the conference has announced it is changing its stance.

“If possible, games that cannot be played as scheduled will be rescheduled. If a game cannot be played and cannot be rescheduled, it will be considered a no contest,” read the ACC’s release.

The release goes on to explain that a team must have a minimum of seven athletes and one coach to be eligible to play. If a team doesn’t have enough and the game cannot be rescheduled, it will be considered a no contest. If they do have enough players and a coach and still do not play, it will be a forfeit.

While this new policy may sound harsh, SU basketball beat reporter James Szuba made a pretty good point.

Syracuse has 17 players and four coaches on its roster. Although some of those guys are not available due to other injuries and some are just walk-ons that you don’t want on the court in an ACC battle, the Orange have plenty of wiggle room. Plus, a majority of the team already contracted the virus, which hopefully means they have antibodies and will not test positive again any time soon.

The ACC’s change of policy is the right thing to do. COVID does not pick who it targets and as much as teams can try to avoid it, sometimes you just can’t. So, to punish teams for testing positive by making them forfeit, or even punish them just because of contract tracing, is not fair. Try your best to reschedule the matchups, and if you can’t for whatever reason, just wipe the game off the schedule and go off of winning percentage.

It’s not perfect, but nothing is right now. You just need to adapt and keep moving.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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