ms vtfbpractice 080219 p51

Virginia Tech football players on the practice field in Blacksburg.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech announced on Wednesday it was extending spring break for a week and moving classes online in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The football team is scheduled to open spring practice on March 21 with student-athletes expected back on campus this weekend.

It’s not immediately clear how the university’s announcement will impact the football team’s spring camp or the annual spring game scheduled for April 18 at Lane Stadium. The spring game was expected to be the team’s 15th and final practice of the spring.

While Tech also canceled all school-sponsored events expected to draw more than 100 people through April 30, the school’s athletic events were a notable exception.

“In accordance with the ACC and university officials, at this time, athletic events will continue as scheduled. Athletic Director Whit Babcock is currently reviewing specific guidelines for spectator participation for each and every event,” the release said.

Athletic Director Whit Babcock wasn’t available for comment and the athletic department referred questions about the policy to the university media relations department, which couldn’t be reached for comment.

The football team’s last workout was early in the morning on March 6. Coach Justin Fuente offered his normal advice ahead of spring break — ”be safe, be smart” — but didn’t specifically address the coronavirus at the time.

“Things have changed pretty significantly since then,” a source noted.

There were student-athletes that stayed on campus, who have been working out at the Merryman Center, but many players went on vacation or spent their spring break at home. As of Wednesday afternoon, they were expected back for a team meeting on Sunday. 

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Load comments