The Latest: UNC and N.C. State to start fall classes early

(AP) -The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:North Carolina and North Carolina State will begin fall classes on Aug. 10 and forgo fall breaks in order to finish by Thanksgiving to get ahead of a potential second wave of COVID-19.

UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz introduced a Roadmap for Fall in a letter Thursday that includes “off ramps” options if conditions change. Class sizes will be reduced with time extended between classes, some of which may be conducted remotely.

Faculty and staff will return in a phased approach and should initially expect staggered and alternating work schedules. UNC will also emphasize adherence to public health guidelines, including physical distancing, wearing face coverings and increased hand washing. The school will observe Labor Day and University Day and complete the semester by Nov. 24.

N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the school will begin classes nine days earlier than originally scheduled and forgo fall break to also finish by Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus for the remainder of the year and winter commencement will be announced later.

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East Carolina is eliminating its men’s and women’s tennis and swimming and diving programs to help reduce a $4.9 million budget deficit.

The move affects 68 student-athletes and nine coaches and reduces ECU’s sponsored sports from 20 to 16, including nine for women. The NCAA requires Division I FBS schools to carry minimums of 16 sports, eight for women.

“The coaches and student-athletes for these respective sports have all impacted our department and the Pirate Family in a positive manner,” athletic director Jon Gilbert said in a release. “This decision was not made lightly. The history and success of the swimming and diving programs and the tennis programs will continue to be celebrated at East Carolina.”

ECU interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson stated that the athletic budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19. The deficit began to grow significantly with the pandemic where the impact was immediate and would affect future revenue and expenses.

ECU will honor scholarships for athletes who remain at the school.

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