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SEC commits to scholarships for student-athletes who sit out due to COVID-19

A good sign for college football returning this fall?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 LSU at Mississippi State Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If there is a college football season, SEC student-athletes will have the option to sit out due to the coronavirus.

On Friday, the league announced that student-athletes who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their teams.

This comes after a unanimous vote by SEC presidents and chancellors to do so.

“SEC universities are committed to full support of its student-athletes, whether or not a student-athlete decides to participate in sports during these uncertain times,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a press release. “SEC student-athletes have frequently expressed their desire to compete, but it is important for student-athletes and their families to know the financial support committed to them by their institutions will not be at risk because of health concerns presented by the current pandemic.”

The SEC will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine at a later date if the policy should be extended to the spring of 2021 or beyond.

The fact that the league is putting this in place for athletes in fall sports suggests it’s still planning to have college football this year.

And good on the league deciding to let athletes sit out if there choose without any kind of penalty from the school. Hopefully, every sport does the same.