Monday, September 20, 2021

SEC Will Wait to Decide Fate of 2020 Football Season

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

It is expected that the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences will formally announce on Tuesday that both are canceling their 2020 football seasons. National sports radio host Dan Patrick claimed on his show Monday that a source had informed him of the cancellations. 

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have not yet announced any plans to cancel their 2020 seasons. 

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated on Twitter on Monday that the conference is going to be patient on making a decision about playing this fall.

“Best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,” Sankey said. “SEC has been deliberate at each step since March…slowed return to practice…Delayed 1st game to respect start of the fall semester.”

Sankey said that it is uncertain if teams will be able to play in a “COVID-19 environment.” As of now, the start of the season has been pushed back to Sept. 26. 

“Developed testing protocols…We know concerns remain. We have never had a FB season in a COVID-19 environment. Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and care for student-athletes every day, and we will continue to do so…every day,” Sankey said.

Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin tweeted Monday that UM players “want to play”. 

The SEC office announced on July 30 that they would play a conference-only schedule, and add two additional non-divisional opponents to the slate.  

On Aug. 4, the league announced an adjusted practice schedule for the fall that begins on Aug. 17. The new calendar provides student-athletes with more days off than required by the NCAA and fewer practices than the maximum allowed by current NCAA rules.

Last Friday, the 14-member institutions across the footprint of the league released protocols for teams to follow during the season.