SEC Commissioner Gives Update for 2020 Season

August 11, 2020

The SEC’s commissioner said Tuesday that he’s “encouraged” about the fall season for his conference.

Greg Sankey told the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning that he is “encouraged” after a weekend where it seemed like the college football the season was about to be lost.  

"We have a start date... I'd be encouraged by that. ... We have a schedule... I'd be encouraged by that. ... We're still here today. On Sunday, if I read social media I would have thought (it was over),” he told the program.

When asked how he feels about SEC football in the fall Sankey cut right to the point.

“It is a roller coaster ride,” Sankey continued. “Today is probably better. We have made decisions to avoid some of the time pressures that I sense others are feeling.”

Sankey’s comment backs up Dawg Post’s reporting on Monday that one SEC administrator questioned why it seemed college football was ready to postpone or even cancel the season over the weekend.

"Why would we stop right now?” asked one SEC administrator Monday morning. “The season doesn't start until late September. I think there are 47 days between now and the first game.”

Snaky continued about why the SEC doesn’t feel the same pressure as other college leagues:

“We’ve not had our players in helmets and pads for full practices,” he said. “We’ve spread our pre-season preparation out. We have moved our kickoff back to allow universities to get back to kind of a normal fall semester order, and some time to have things settle out.”

Sankey told the program that before the weekend he was looking forward to the season starting as the league planned.

“I felt good on Friday, and then a little tumult over the weekend,” he said. “We are going to keep working to see if we can provide opportunities for student-athletes to compete.”

Sankey said that the SEC continues to gather what he calls information so that he league can better make its own decisions for the fall. He indicated that the cancellation of one league would be “a piece of information.”

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“We have obviously had conversations with colleagues, so you have a sense of what may happen. It is information for us - that’s what it is,” he said. “Every day we learn a little bit more. It is not simply going to be a guiding moment if another conference makes a decision, but a piece of information a lot this journey.”

Sankey shot down the notion that non-SEC members - like possibly Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma - could come into the league for a year.

“So that report I didn’t receive until about 9:30 (Monday) night,” he said. “I have not spoken with anyone - I have seen a little bit of the social media activity. We are focused on our 14 members, and our ten games. What we have really done is create a quasi bubble on campuses for our teams to be healthy and supported really well, and a quasi bubble with our conference schedule. By moving later, really than anyone had at the time, to give those campus locals and communities to welcome students back. Education (that’s) what we do, by the way despite what the critics might think. We could start later and control the ability to play. That has been our focus.”

Sankey said it was possbile, but not likley the league would play on its own this fall.

“I don’t think that is the right direction really. Could we? Certainly,” Sankey said in response to season that involves the SEC being the only conference to play. “We could, if that were the circumstance, operate on our own. I am not sure that’s the wisest direction.”

Tags: 2020
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