Greg Sankey: SEC Hasn't Decided on Eliminating Nonconference Football Games

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 9, 2020

SEC Championship logo on the field during 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

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the Ivy League postponing all sports until 2021 and the Big Ten announcing that its fall sports season will be limited to conference games only.  

The SEC hasn't made a decision on what it will do this fall, but commissioner Greg Sankey told Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated that league leaders will be meeting in the coming weeks to make a decision alongside medical officials:

Deciding to move to conference-only games might be commonplace throughout Division I athletics. The ACC is reportedly leaning toward that move as well, per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Brett McMurphy of Stadium.

COVID-19 numbers are rising daily in the United States, which saw a one-day high of 57,186 new cases on Tuesday, per the World Health Organization.

The U.S. has had over 2.97 million confirmed positive cases and more than 130,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

Case and death rates decreased in May, leading to more optimism and the re-opening of some states. The NCAA, which had closed its doors since mid-March due to the pandemic, allowed football and men's and women's basketball student-athletes to come back to campuses for voluntary workouts beginning June 1.

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Some universities have had little issue with COVID-19 since, with Notre Dame notably reporting only one positive test among 252 administered to the football team and athletic department up until Wednesday, per Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune.

Other schools have not been as fortunate. Clemson has had 37 confirmed cases on its football team alone through June 26, per ESPN's Andrea Adelson.

The Ohio State athletic department also paused all athletic workouts after members of seven varsity teams, including football and men's and women's hoops, turned up positive cases, per Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch.

As for now, the fall college sports season appears to be on the brink.

At this second, however, the 2020 Division I FBS college football season is officially scheduled to begin on Saturday, August 29 with six nonconference games, including Hawaii at Arizona and Cal at UNLV.

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