By Jeff Roberson
Will there be football in Oxford and other Southeastern Conference locales this fall? Nobody still knows for sure.
Monday in Birmingham, the SEC’s 14 Athletics Directors and Commissioner Greg Sankey met to discuss the outlook of the season being played despite unusual circumstances and perhaps insurmountable odds due to COVID-19.
“We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead,” Sankey said. “The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting.”
The meeting marked the first in-person meeting of the Conference athletics directors since the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville in March.
The ADs heard a report from members of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force and discussed issues relevant to the current pre-season calendar and the approaching fall seasons of competition, including an update on current COVID-19 testing procedures.
Among the topics discussed were possible scheduling options for holding athletic competitions in the fall of 2020. Also, among the topics discussed were game management best practices for ensuring a healthy environment at athletics events for student-athletes, coaches, officials, staff and fans.
“It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis,” Sankey said. “In the coming weeks, we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making important decisions ahead of us.”