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The ACC tournament is going on as planned. That's a huge mistake

John Swofford (center) announced Thursday morning that ACC tournament games will be played despite coronavirus concerns.
John Swofford (center) announced Thursday morning that ACC tournament games will be played despite coronavirus concerns.

Thirteen months ago, I was elected to serve as The Chronicle’s Sports Editor, truly a dream come true. Ever since then, I have been waiting for this March, covering the ACC and NCAA tournaments, making my childhood dreams come true, all as a mere junior in college.

But I will never get to experience that March. And it was my choice. It shouldn’t have been.

Thursday morning, ACC Commisioner John Swofford announced in a press conference that the ACC tournament will continue on as planned, albeit with no fans in attendance. This comes the day after the NBA suspended its season due to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus (Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive as well).

In his press conference, Swofford sounded wildly irresponsible. He has the power to put forth measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, and yet he acted more clueless and short-sighted than the average person.

“The NBA made the decision when one of their players contracted the virus,” Swofford said. “What we have to look at, I think, is should you make that decision before one of your players contracts the virus? I don’t know the answer to that right now.”

There is an easy answer to that: cancel the tournament.

Despite my deepest wishes and my credential granting me access to Greensboro Coliseum, I will not be in attendance at the ACC tournament Thursday afternoon. Neither should anybody else.

My dreams won’t be coming true this spring. Neither will those of athletes, student journalists, soon-to-be graduates or many others across the country. But an unfulfilled dream is worth it in the critical time we are in. 

You’ve made a fool of yourself already, Commissioner Swofford. Do the right thing and cancel the ACC tournament now.

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