Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Disappointing news out of Blacksburg as Virginia Tech announced that their game next Saturday against Virginia has been postponed due to COVID issues in Blacksburg. Additionally, the Virginia Tech football program will pause practices for the next four days.
Virginia Tech and UVA do intend to reschedule this game at a later date though that may not be for a while as the only open date that currently lines up for both teams is December 12th. However, it is possible that we see some pieces get moved around and this game get played earlier though it remains to be seen.
It is unclear how many players have tested positive at Virginia Tech and how many are in contact tracing though Justin Fuente's comments earlier this week raised concerns that Tech wouldn't have been able to play their originally scheduled September 12th game against N.C. State.
Virginia Tech has not released any specifics on testing within their athletic programs despite many other athletic programs doing the same. This was previously credited to being a decision by Virginia Tech's university-wide legal team prior to Tech establishing their university-wide COVID dashboard.
Here were the statements made by athletic director Whit Babcock and head coach Justin Fuente.
"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,” said Director of Athletics, Whit Babcock. “While we share the disappointment of everyone who hoped to begin the football season against our in-state rival, we remain optimistic that a full ACC football schedule can be played thanks to the flexibility the present format permits. Despite this delay, our schedule still aligns closely with the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 football timelines.
“We appreciate the continued support of President Sands for our student-athletes and Tech Athletics as we navigate these unprecedented times,” Babcock continued. “We are still optimistic about fall Olympic sports playing their schedules. We likewise support Dr. Sands and our campus officials as they remain committed to providing the best learning environment possible under the circumstances this semester.”
“My primary concern continues to be the well-being of the student-athletes on our football team,” said head coach Justin Fuente. “I hurt for them because I know how badly they want to compete. I also appreciate that these young men have been dealing with the same stress, uncertainty and anxiety as their fellow Virginia Tech students over the past few months as their spring semester was dramatically altered. Then they were forced to find a way to train on their own, and to their credit, they found a way to get it done.
“So many individuals worked so tirelessly to give us an opportunity to get back on campus to train and to get back on the practice field. To all of those individuals who continue to go the extra mile for our student-athletes, I’m extremely grateful. I appreciate how many people at Virginia Tech are so deeply invested in the success of our football team and our young men.”