SEC Presidents, Chancellors Voting on Reopening Facilities in June amid COVID-19

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 14, 2020

SEC sign held up by a player after the Southeastern Conference Championship NCAA college football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Atlanta. (Ric Tapia via AP)
Ric Tapia/Associated Press

During a May 22 call, SEC chancellors and presidents will discuss whether to open their respective university facilities to athletes on June 1 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk confirmed to reporters on Thursday. 

ESPN's Sam Khan Jr. reported that Sterk was one of "multiple SEC athletic administrators" who publicly discussed the upcoming vote.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was more vague about the fluid situation. 

"At some point prior to May 31, we're going to have to make a decision," Sankey told Khan. "You've seen information comes out when decisions are made, as opposed to prospecting about what may or may not happen. I think that those who suggest that this particular date or that particular date miss that we're meeting regularly with our membership to make decisions."

The SEC canceled all remaining 2019-20 competitions and suspended athletic events such as practices and other organized gatherings on March 17.

"All this talk of schools wanting to bring players back on June 1 is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard," Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said, per Stadium's Brett McMurphy.

However, the Texas Longhorns football staff is preparing to return to campus:

Anwar Richardson @AnwarRichardson

The Texas Longhorn football staff will return to campus on Monday (less than 30), according to my sources. They will be in the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. However, players will resume virtual meetings on Wednesday. Social distancing and masks will be emphasized.

As for the looming 2020 college football season, Sankey addressed whether the SEC would consider playing regardless of other conferences' ability to move forward earlier this week:

Paul Finebaum @finebaum

We asked @SEC Commissioner @GregSankey about reports insinuating that the SEC would consider playing football without the other conferences, and he cleared up those comments with this response: https://t.co/B8dU0H6TO3

Paul Finebaum @finebaum

SEC Commissioner @GregSankey tells us that the communication between college commissioners has never been stronger than it is now. "The notion that one thinks one conference is going to go off and doing something independently isn’t attached to reality."

There have been discussions between conferences about how to safely play the season:

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

Some conference schools already having preliminary discussions w/their other conference members about possible home/home series this year, in case all of their league members can’t play, sources told @Stadium

McMurphy conducted a survey of 130 FBS athletic directors in late April, and 99 percent of the 114 responding athletic directors believed the college football season would be played but 75 percent said it will likely be delayed.

As of now, the season is scheduled to begin on Aug. 29.