SEC commissioner: “We are running out of time”

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The commissioner of the top conference in college football is sounding the alarm that if the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t brought under control soon, the season is in jeopardy.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said today that his level of concern is “high to very high.”

“We put a medical advisory group together in early April with the question ‘What do we have to do to get back to activity?’ and they’ve been a big part of the conversation,” Sankey told ESPN. “But, the direct reality is not good and the notion that we’ve politicized medical guidance of distancing, and breathing masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buildings. There’s some very clear advice about — you can’t mitigate and eliminate every risk but how do you minimize the risk? . . . We are running out of time to correct and get things right and as a society, we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be.”

Sankey said he is still working on getting the season started as scheduled, but he has to acknowledge that the situation — particularly in some of the states where SEC schools are located — is grim.

“I’m going to focus on preparing to play the season as scheduled but acknowledge the circumstances around coronavirus are going to guide us in that decision making,” Sankey said. “And the reality right now is the trends in our region in our nation are not in the positive direction for being able to have normal experiences.”

A growing concern is emerging that it’s simply not feasible to have a football season in a pandemic.

34 responses to “SEC commissioner: “We are running out of time”

  1. Not “running out of time” at this point it is “ran out of time”. Game over. See everyone, hopefully, in 2021.

  2. Delay the season until the Spring and reassess then. It is in everyone’s best interests to do so. SEC programs generate a considerable amount of their revenues from ticket sales. Wouldn’t it be better to play in front of full stadiums if conditions permit instead of empty stadiums under current conditions? Lastly, and most importantly, it is the right thing to do because the health of the players, coaches and fans should not be put at risk for the sake of a game. Football is not essential and public health considerations should always prevail.

  3. Every day that you’re alive, you have some degree of risk of dying from something. Young and healthy people should resume living their lives, that includes playing football. There will be spread all over campus, whether games are played or not. Play the games.

  4. jodave5 says:
    July 11, 2020 at 10:30 am
    Not “running out of time” at this point it is “ran out of time”. Game over. See everyone, hopefully, in 2021.
    Agree with you . Sadly if people continue to ignore mask wearing and social distancing not sure if we will be any better in 2021 .

  5. If you wait to the spring most of the highly rated 3rd and 4th year players won’t play. No way Trevor Lawrence would play in February or March, risk an injury with the draft in April. No guarantee this doesn’t continue, or get worse in the fall to winter during normal cold and flu season. Push through the season or cancel 2020, no spring college football.

  6. “Young and healthy people should resume living their lives”

    A healthy 30 year old man who went to a covid party in the San Antonio has just died. His last words to the nurse were “I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax but its not”

    Good luck buddy, you’re gonna need it. Its not just the people who die. Its the ones with lifelong health issues due to damage to their lungs and other organs

    And research coming out of the UK show there are damaging effects to the brain that cause strokes and other long term issues with your melon.

  7. PHYSICAL distancing!
    Play the games in empty stadiums and sequester the players.
    This is not rocket science.

  8. Except for the few people that have the delusion that this is just like the flu, the rest of us can face reality. There will be no football this season

    Things will continue to get worse until EVERYONE gives a tiny sacrifice and wears a mask….and distances…and isolates after they know they’ve been exposed.

    The EU did it and they are open. New Zealand did it and they are open. The same goes for South Korea and Taiwan. We ca do it too. It really isn’t much of a sacrifice compared to what prior US generations had to sacrifice during times of war and disease.

  9. Simply too many moving parts on too big of scale to conduct a season this year

    High School football is done

    College football should skip a year

    Pro Football is only waiting for the bell to ring

    without a vaccine there will be no football season

    too much liability on too big of scale

  10. The patchwork response to the virus with no comprehensive federal guidelines like the EU means we will struggle to contain it for months to come while the rest of the world moves on. Sports in general just ain’t happening…

  11. With the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson. Please exit the back door to be taken to a waiting plane. Your first NFL pre-season game is tomorrow…. ripple effect…

  12. College ball has to be much more difficult to resume than the nfl. For professionals, the game is their job, and they can protect themselves and others due to the the financial benefits of their employment.
    For college, the players still have to attend class, unless they play for USC or Ohio State.
    (That last part was a joke.)

  13. For football to happen college campuses need to be open. I suspect a number of schools will not open. What happens when a team gets tested positive, like 34 players from Clemson. They will have to quarantine for 2 weeks, then what? If it wasn’t for $$$$ these schools would have already cancelled the season. It’s ridiculous they are even talking about football.End it now

  14. lets just do a condensed informal season. 6 games vs rivals only, no national championships. maybe some bowl games between hot teams

  15. The students, the coaches, trainers, support staff and fans need to do what is reasonably safe for them.

    Rule 1. If Person A does not have coronavirus they cannot transmit coronavirus to Person B.

    Rule 2. If Person B does not have coronavirus they cannot transmit coronavirus to Person A.

    Rule 3a. If Person A or Person B comes in contact with Person C, they may contract coronavirus.

    Rule 3b. Person C is 7 billion other people.

    Rule 4. Keep Person’s A and B from Person C.

    Rule 5. Easier said than done.

  16. If they don’t have a college football season then kiss Lawrence and Fields and many others goodbye. Why should they waste waiting and hoping 2021 is different?? They won’t, so they’ll likely declare ASAP for the 2021 NFL Draft and they can’t be stopped from doing so.

  17. Their will be no 2020 football season, game over
    If you mean both college and the NFL, then the NFL is in BIG time trouble because then in 2021 (when the draft happens) the Bengals will then draft Trevor Lawrence and use him as trade bait to get extra picks. That’s why if there’s no football in 2020 (nfl included) they need to do something about the NFL Draft.

  18. Meanwhile former SEC linebacker Devon White will be hosting a 2,000 person event in the heart of the SEC. SMH.

  19. I still can’t understand why people enjoy politics more than sports. It’s over see you in 2022.

  20. they should let people volunteer, half of the pft commenters would probably sign up to play.

  21. Red shirt the whole team!
    I’m sure that’s possible, though if you’re Lawrence or Fields would you want another year of playing football for free while sitting a year watching them do it in the pros??

  22. Don’t allow anyone with risk factors to attend games. Obesity and the complications from it account for a vast majority of those who are struck with severe symptoms of covid-19. Next is age and its associated problems. If you are generally healthy, your risk of complications from covid-19 are very small. On with the show, but without certain people allowed.

  23. Just delay until we have a vaccine. Don’t mess around with kids’ health.

  24. “Just delay until we have a vaccine. Don’t mess around with kids’ health.”

    While the NFL may have to do that, everyone needs to understand that we may not have a vaccine for years…or ever.

    Fun facts:

    It normally takes about 9 years to develop and test a vaccine for effectiveness and safety

    No vaccine has ever been successfully developed for ANY coronavirus.

    Wear a mask…Distance….Isolate when exposed.

  25. Thanks to Trump and the Republican Governors that represent the SEC, there will be no football this year

  26. One the bright side, if there is no NFL season, then my Lions will finally crack .500

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