SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse football team is now bound for North Carolina for the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 12th, at noon.
But it wasn’t exactly smooth. Just before 4 p.m., the team buses left for the airport, which is about four hours after originally scheduled.
As of September 9th, North Carolina is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restricted travel list due to COVID-19.
In a statement sent to NewsChannel 9, the University says the reduced travel party will be in North Carolina for roughly 22 hours and remain in a “strict travel bubble” throughout the trip.
The governor’s rule exempts anyone who is in a travel advisory state less than 24 hours from the 14-day quarantine rule upon return to New York. Professional sports teams have received exemptions to participate in their seasons in the state of New York.
When the team returns to Syracuse, students will undergo immediate testing and then stay in their team “bubble” the rest of the week. The team will still do the ACC mandated three tests per week as well.
The college-athletes will participate in their classes online for a week following the game against the Tarheels. The team will not return to in-person instruction any earlier than the week of September 21st following its second road game of the year against Pittsburgh.
There is no word on whether the equipment and truck drivers return to Syracuse after the game.
Read below for the full statement from SU:
“In consultation with and at the direction of the New York State Department of Health, we have established strict protocols and policies appropriate to safeguard our student-athletes, our campus, and the Central New York Community.
We have dramatically reduced the size of the traveling party to include only student-athletes, medical staff, essential coaches, and athletics department staff. Those making the trip to North Carolina, which from start to finish will be roughly 22 hours, will remain in a strict travel bubble prior to, during, and after the trip. Specifically, the team will travel by way of chartered airplane, and upon arrival a chartered bus to the hotel where the team is staying. Student-athletes, coaches, and staff will not leave the hotel until the competition. Once the competition is over, the team will immediately depart the stadium and return to Syracuse by way of chartered airplane.
Upon return, the team (student-athletes and staff included) will undergo immediate testing, and remain in their team bubble for the remainder of the week. They will be tested three additional times during the week (as per ACC protocol) and directed to avoid contact with individuals outside the team bubble. Our student-athletes will participate in their classes virtually for one week upon return from North Carolina, and remain in their travel bubble during this period to avoid contact with others. Our student-athletes will return to in-person instruction no earlier than the week of September 21, following the team’s road game in Pittsburgh.
This protocol is similar to what was required by New York State for participants in the U.S. Open and the MTV Video Music Awards. We appreciate the support we have received from New York State and will continue to engage with the state’s public health experts and comply fully with their guidance.”