The Navy-Notre Dame football game that was set to be played in Ireland has been relocated to the United States, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that the game which was originally going to take place in Dublin on Aug. 29 will “likely” be played over Labor Day weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday.
The teams plan on playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which will be a first in the 94-year rivalry history. Every previous matchup hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.
“I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.”
Jack Swarbrick, Vice President of Notre Dame, and James E. Rorh, Director of Athletics at Notre made a joint statement as well.
“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” they said. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”
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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will compete for the ACC crown this football season.
The conference announced their updated slate of games on Wednesday, with the Fighting Irish as a de facto conference member for the 2020 season.
Included in that schedule is a marquee matchup against the defending champion Clemson Tigers, however there will be no revival of the rivalry between Miami and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame will also play one non-ACC opponent at some point this season, but that opponent has yet to be determined. Notre Dame typically plays USC and Stanford every season, but those games won’t be played since the Pac-12 previously said it will only play in-conference this season.
To go with their honorary status in the ACC, if Notre Dame wins the ACC championship game but is not selected for the College Football Playoff, they will be eligible for an Orange Bowl bid.
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Notre Dame University announced on Monday that it will welcome students back on campus on August 10. That’s two weeks earlier than the fall semester was initially scheduled to begin. In addition, Notre Dame will forgo a fall break in October, and will instead end the semester before Thanksgiving.
In the announcement Notre Dame said they consulted with experts for months to develop their plan to welcome students back onto campus.
The plan to return includes comprehensive COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff. It also includes contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces.
“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” Notre Dame’s president Rev. John I. Jenkins wrote in a letter to students. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed. We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”
Father Jenkins also wrote that the university is currently developing a plan to reopen research labs, studios and libraries in coming weeks.
In case of an outbreak, or if the university is unable to provide adequate testing, Notre Dame faculty have been asked to prepare both in-person and remote curricula for their classes. The remote curricula would also help any student keep up with classwork if they need to be quarantined.
The university is also developing criteria to determine whether or not to offer study abroad programs in the fall. That decision will be announced in June.
Notre Dame sent home all students in mid-March to complete their spring semesters remotely. They also canceled all summer classes, except for a small number of students who needed to complete summer work to prepare for the fall semester.