“We are running out of time to correct and get things right.”
Greg Sankey’s words on Saturday morning’s edition of Marty and McGee cast doubt on the likelihood of college football being played this fall. The statement comes on the heels of the Big Ten and Pac-12’s decisions to exclusively play conference games this fall.
“We put a medical advisory group together in early April with the question, ‘What do we have to do to get back to activity?’ and they’ve been a big part of the conversation,” Sankey said. “But the direct reality is not good and the notion that we’ve politicized medical guidance of distancing, and breathing masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buildings. There’s some very clear advice about — you can’t mitigate and eliminate every risk, but how do you minimize the risk? … We are running out of time to correct and get things right, and as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be.”
Sankey will meet in-person with SEC athletic directors on Monday to discuss possible plans to play football this fall. Even though two conferences have previously pulled the trigger to make significant changes to the schedule, Sankey said that will not determine the SEC’s plan of action.
“I don’t feel any pressure because of somebody else’s decisions. We’re trying to make the right decisions for us, for the Southeastern Conference. It does have an impact because I’ve said publicly we’re all linked nationally, so when other people make decisions, yup, there’s an impact, but also we’re going to look at our situation and make a decision that’s appropriate for the Southeastern Conference and most importantly for the health of our student-athletes.”
The SEC is targeting late July to make a final decision on if and how the conference can play college football this fall. During the coronavirus pandemic, things change rapidly. Sankey acknowledged that even though things do not look good right now, it could all change before a decision must be made.