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SEC Warns of 'Additional Action' If Teams Don't Wear Masks on Sidelines

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 2, 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 SEC has warned football teams they could face discipline if they don't wear masks on the sidelines during games.

In a memo obtained by ESPN's Alex Scarborough, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey wrote that teams will be subject to "additional action" if they don't follow COVID-19 protocols:

"This past weekend, many fulfilled the requirements established by the Task Force and your commitment to these new requirements are appreciated. Others, including some head coaches, assistant coaches, support staff and student-athletes need clear reminders of the requirement they fulfill the new health protocols intended to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19."

Multiple coaches during last weekend's games were not wearing masks on the sidelines.

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach was among those who often didn't have his face covered during his team's game against LSU.

"I try to do my best with it," Leach told reporters after the Bulldogs' 44-34 win. "But once you're six feet apart, I can't help but wonder if some of this isn't an homage to politicians."

Leach also said "there were a number of challenges" trying to remember to wear it because "I found myself talking all the time."

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Per the SEC's medical guidance task force requirements for fall sports, "All individuals who access the competition area shall be required to wear a face covering, other than student-athletes and the officials who are engaged in competition."

The requirements note that proper use of a mask or neck gaiter means it "must completely cover both the nose and mouth such that neither nostrils nor the tip of the nose is visible."

The SEC football season kicked off last weekend with seven conference games. Teams are scheduled to play 10 games during the regular season, followed by the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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