Source: SEC Presidents Not Ready To Make Decision On Football
SEC presidents met last night and "decided to continue to monitor the situation surrounding coronavirus," according to a source cited by Brooks Kubena of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Yesterday afternoon, the dominoes "seemed aligned for a massive collapse, a series of cancellations among college football's five major conferences because of concerns associated with playing during the national pandemic." But it is "expected the conversation for larger conferences will continue." Multiple reports say the ACC and Big 12 "still intend to play, and the SEC, at least for now, will also continue moving forward as scheduled." The "dizzying weekend was enough to spur immediate action within the SEC." Sources said that the league's 14 ADs "already were scheduled to meet Monday, but the conference's school presidents called for an impromptu meeting later that afternoon." The meeting allowed the presidents to vote to cancel the season, but they "made no firm decision," as conference leaders "chose to remain patient" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 8/11).
SANKEY SPEAKS: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, "We've made some decisions to avoid some of the time pressures that I sense others are feeling. We've not had our players in helmets and pads for full practices, we've spread our preseason preparation out, we've moved our kickoff back to allow our universities to get back to their normal fall semester order and give some time for things to settle out." Sankey said the SEC is "focused on our 14 members and our 10 games because what we've really done is create a quasi-bubble on our campuses for our teams to be healthy and supported really well." The SEC medical advisory group has "said we can continue to go forward." Sankey: "Were that advice to change, certainly would be a stopping point, but the indicators are we can, right now, do what we’re doing in a healthy way.” Sankey said possibly being the only conference playing this season is not the "right direction," but they could "certainly" play in that scenario (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 8/11).
STAYING PATIENT: Sankey tweeted yesterday, "Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying ... and will continue to do so." In Atlanta, Chip Towers notes similar social-media messages "were shared" yesterday by Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman and Ole Miss AD Keith Carter. Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek was "almost defiant when he spoke to the SEC Network on Monday as a guest on Paul Finebaum’s show." Yurachek said, “We’re not going to panic because another Power 5 conference may be making a different decision." Georgia AD Greg McGarity added Sankey's Twitter comment was "spot on" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/11).