SEC Commissioner Sankey: 'We Are Running out of Time' for 2020 Football Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2020

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Greg Sankey the new commissioner of the SEC talks to the media before the quaterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said Saturday the power brokers of college football are "running out of time to correct and get things right" to complete the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sankey said on ESPN Radio's Marty and McGee (h/t Andrea Adelson) that his concern about whether the campaign can safely take place is "high to very high" and added:

"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. 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."

The structure of the college football season has already started to evolve. The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced their intention recently to play conference-only schedules.

Sankey said on Marty and McGee that he doesn't feel pressure to make an announcement and that the SEC's deadline is late July:

"We're trying to make the right decisions for us, for the Southeastern Conference. It does have an impact because I've said publicly we're all linked nationally, so when other people make decisions, yup, there's an impact, but also we're going to look at our situation and make a decision that's appropriate for the Southeastern Conference and most importantly for the health of our student-athletes."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

ACC Commissioner John Swofford provided a similar late-July timetable for a decision.

Meanwhile, Clemson sent out a fan survey asking about supporters' opinions of moving the 2020 campaign to the spring with the hope of having fans in attendance.

Sankey said that despite a focus on playing the season as scheduled, it's likely out of anyone's control because of COVID-19.

"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," he said, via Adelson.

Coronavirus cases have recently surged around the country.

The SEC has crowned a football champion every year since its first campaign in 1933. LSU is the reigning conference champ, and the Tigers won the national title last season.

Related

    Inside Kittle’s Recruitment

    How a 185-lb George Kittle went from Iowa’s third choice for its last scholarship to a first-team All-Pro TE 📲

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Inside Kittle’s Recruitment

    Ryan Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Rondale Moore Opting Out

    Purdue's star WR announces he will not play in the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Rondale Moore Opting Out

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Is Gus Malzahn Always on the Hot Seat? 🎢

    He has the most wins against Saban at Alabama, but has also been unranked. How does Auburn's HC keep from getting fired?

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Why Is Gus Malzahn Always on the Hot Seat? 🎢

    David Kenyon
    via Bleacher Report

    SEC Requiring Maks on Sideline in Safety Protocols

    College Football logo
    College Football

    SEC Requiring Maks on Sideline in Safety Protocols

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report