This past weekend was quite the roller coaster of emotions for college football fans everywhere.
The Big Ten started all the commotion, as there were multiple reports that the league was leaning towards canceling all football activities and games for the 2020 season due to the risks the coronavirus brings on their student athletes and coaches/staff. The PAC-12 has also raised similar concerns.
Well, if you were on Twitter at all this weekend, you probably saw conflicting reports from various blue checks that confused you. Although the Big Ten school presidents did vote Monday 12-2 in favor of canceling the season, a formal announcement has yet to be made.
What does this mean for college football as a whole? More specifically, what does this mean for the SEC? Greg Sankey came out on the Dan Patrick Show to let fans know where the SEC stands in terms of playing football this fall in relation to the Big Ten and any other potential conferences that plan to cancel.
“We’ve obviously had conversations among colleagues, so you have a sense of what may happen,” Sankey said. “It is information for us. That’s what it is. Everyday, 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.”
Sankey makes it clear that the SEC will be doing things its own way, as we’ve seen in the past with many different scenarios.
“We had some really healthy dialogue with athletics directors, our presidents, and chancellors, really information, because we’ve made decision to avoid some of the time pressures I sense others are feeling. We’re going to keep working day to day to see if we can provide opportunities for student-athletes to compete.”
I believe Sankey and the SEC are taking the correct approach here. There’s no need to rush to a decision right now. Keep things the way they are right now and see what happens as we get closer to kickoff.
There were some reports that surfaced this weekend regarding the possibility of other schools joining the SEC this season if their conferences were to cancel the 2020 season, like Nebraska and Ohio State. When asked about this Sankey used the word “unrealistic” as he pointed to impassable legal hurdles.
With this virus comes very clear risks with playing. No one should be ignorant when discussing the real possibilities of health complications that the players, coaches and staff could face.
“Whatever we do, we’re going to do it safely,” said Sankey. “We’re going to do in the most healthy way possible. Our medical advisory group has said, ‘Yes, we can continue to go forward.’”
Unfortunately, we still don’t have an official schedule for the 2020 SEC football season yet, we do know that there will be a league-wide bye-week at the end of the season to play any games that were postponed.
Sankey did end his conversation with some positive news and hope for all College Football fans:
“We’re still here and we’re going to keep working and see if we can move it along because what’s been told to me by young men on our team is they want an opportunity. They want a safe and healthy opportunity, but they want an opportunity to compete.
“And if we can do that, we will.”
Be sure to check out the full interview below: