Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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46 AUGUST 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI G o i n g v i r a l " re c e i v e d a whole new meaning dur- ing the 2019-20 school year when it came to the world of athletics. The actual definition per Diction- is "becoming very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet." Unfortunately, a true virus that overtook the nation in March also circulated with remarkable rapidity, but became anything but popular. Days of infamy in the United State such as Dec. 7, 1941; Nov. 22, 1963; and Sept. 11, 2001 are eternally seared into our history. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no "official" date that tracks its start, but it was on March 11 — during the spring semester break — that Notre Dame advised its students not to return to campus and immedi- ately suspended all in-person classes. A day later while the Notre Dame men's basketball team was making preparations for its ACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup with Virginia, the NCAA canceled all remain- ing winter sports competition, and shortly thereafter did the same for the spring. The coronavirus easily became the No. 1 story of the 2019-20 school year, and the residual effects could linger for years and have tremors through the decade. Here were 10 of the top stories prior to the start of Notre Dame's new academic year Aug. 10: THE NEW NORMAL No event in history has brought intercollegiate (and professional) athletics more to its knees than the coronavirus. The infamous Spanish Influenza in 1918 did cancel football that Oc- tober, but Notre Dame, among other schools, finished the year with four games in November to conclude Knute Rockne's first season. World War II forced several promi- nent programs to drop football for at least a year, including Alabama in 1943 (when the Fighting Irish won the national title by beating seven teams ranked in the final Associated Press top 13), but an overall full sea- son was played. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil postponed or can- celed games that weekend, but nor- mal business resumed thereafter. However, the coronavirus not only eliminated winter sports' postseason action and canceled all spring sports, The COVID-19 pandemic limited Notre Dame to just one spring football practice, then it shut down all winter and spring competition across the country in mid- March. PHOTO BY MIKE MILLER " GOING VIRAL What didn't occur during the 2019-20 athletics calendar overshadowed what did

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