Despite news of the Big Ten and Pac-12 opting to postpone the 2020 college football season to the spring, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey remains “comfortable” the conference will still play in the fall.
With all eyes on the SEC, Sankey wrote in a statement that he will look further into why the Big Ten and Pac-12 opted to push the season back, but said he has no plans to do the same at this time.
“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today,” said Sankey. “I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes.
“We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day.”
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) August 11, 2020
This falls in line with what Sankey said this morning on the Dan Patrick Show, with the league commissioner confirming that serious moves from other conferences will not force his hand one way or the other.
“We’ve obviously had conversations among colleagues, so you have a sense of what may happen. It is information for us. That’s what it is,” said Sankey. “I’ve said to you in my monthly appearances, every day we learn a little bit more and it is not simply going to be a guiding moment if another conference makes this decision, but a piece of information along this really, really interesting journey.”
“We had some really healthy dialogue with athletics directors and with our presidents and chancellors, really information because we’ve made decision to avoid some of the time pressures I sense others are feeling,” Sankey continued. “We’re going to keep working day to day to see if we can provide opportunities for student-athletes to compete.”
If the conference’s medical advisory group tells him they can safely move forward with the season, the SEC will do so.
“Whatever we do, we’re going to do it safely. We’re going to do in the most healthy way possible,” said Sankey. “Our medical advisory group has said, ‘yes. We can continue to go forward.’ Were that advice to change, certainly there would be a stopping point but the indicators are we can right now do what we’re doing in a healthy way and we’re going to continue that central issue — health — as we move forward, we hope, towards competition with no assurances that actually will take place.”