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SEC Commissioner: Forfeits Are Possible if Teams Can't Play Because of COVID

July 19, 2021

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HOOVER, AL - SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday that it is possible that SEC will have to forfeit contests if their teams that can’t play due to COIVD. 

The news comes after commissioners of other conferences have signaled that possibility in their leagues. 

“In my view that’s a possibility - the forfeit word,” Sankey said in response to Dawg Post’s question regarding the matter. “We’ve not built in rescheduling room. If you go back to last year and understand the decisions we made… we had roster minimums. If a team fell below 53 scholarship players in total they could request not playing and have a contest rescheduled - or at certain key positions.”

“I think those should go away right now,” Sankey continued. “If we are able to play depending a bit on what happens with the public health reality - if those go away then the responsibility it to show up and play as scheduled. And if you can that game has to be disposed of if you will. And that’s where the forfeiture comes up because we don’t have the space for rescheduling. We have to accommodate in our standings. And we have to say directly: Get healthy. Be healthily. Stay healthy throughout the year.”

A year ago the SEC spaced in weekends to give the league the ability to reschedule games if a COVID outbreak prevented a member institution from playing on a given weekend. This year, however, Sankey said schedules have not had built in buffers from outbreaks on teams. He also reiterated that coaches and schools can’t force individuals to take a COVID vaccine shot. 

“We have state laws and executive orders preventing the word ‘requirement’ from being part of our reality,” Sankey said. “What I am communicating is a clear message: being healthy is central to playing without disruption. If we have disruption the opportunity to not have rescheduling accommodated is the reality. We just haven’t built it in. With all of the work that people have done to prepare to play - the COVID vaccine becomes a part of that preparation to help avoid the contract tracing and potential shutdown.”


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Tags: Greg Sankey
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