While the Colonial Athletic Association has announced that football has been suspended for the fall, Elon will continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic while trying to build a schedule as an independent.
The league gave its schools the option of playing fall sports if it is safe. Elon says it would not start competition before Aug. 29.
“As long as the NCAA and the FCS continue to support championship tournaments on their normal schedules," Elon athletics director Dave Blank said in a statement, "we believe Elon student-athletes should have the right to compete. We are making every effort to participate in all of our fall sports as long as we feel certain we can do so in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of all. Should the pandemic situation change or the NCAA and/or FCS championships shift, we will re-evaluate our position appropriately for our fall sports."
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services today reported reported an additional 2,051 cases of the virus, down from 2,160 on Thursday. The state's record high of 2,462 was set Saturday.
Alamance County has reported 1,612 cases and 40 deaths during the pandemic. The county's seven-day average of new cases peaked just under 40 on June 11 and has remained above 20 per day since.
North Carolina is among 18 states cited in a report prepared for the White House, and obtained by the non-profit newsroom Center for Public Integrity, urged to roll back reopening measures because of the increasing number of cases.
Elon athletes have been on campus since June 1, and voluntary workouts recently resumed, the school said in a news release. Under the guidance of medical personnel, Elon says several safety precautions have been implemented, including:
COVID-19 testing for all athletes.
- Daily health screenings.
- Use of masks and physical distancing.
- Limiting the number of individuals in indoor and outdoor spaces to comply with state guidelines.
- Enhanced cleaning and sterilization practices in all facilities and of all equipment.
- Acclimatization and mitigation strategies in accordance with best practices developed by the National Athletic Trainers Association and the NCAA Sports Science Institute.
Elon's season opener is scheduled for Sept. 5 at The Citadel. A game Sept. 12 at Duke could be in jeopardy if the ACC follows the lead of the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences and opts for schedules only against league opponents. Elon's home opener is Sept. 19 against Campbell.
CAA member James Madison has begun trying to put together an independent schedule that would allow the Dukes to play in the fall, if there are enough active FCS teams for the NCAA to conduct FCS playoffs, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch reports.
JMU players had reported to campus for voluntary workouts. Elon is scheduled to visit James Madison on Nov. 7.