"It just means more." It's a saying that every Southeastern Conference football fan not only knows but truly believes in. Football in the South is a way of life. It's an economy mover. It's a community builder. Some would argue, it's essential.
Well, amidst a pandemic, the SEC is planning to move on with its college football season with or without the rest of college football.
SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey said the following in an interview with Jacksonville radio station 1010 XL:
"If there's a couple of programs that aren't able, does that stop everyone? I'm not sure it does. Hope is not a plan, but right now the desire would be to have 11 states and 14 [SEC] institutions moving forward in a collective manner and, like I said, connected nationally so that we can celebrate the return of college sports."
Now, the president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert said yesterday that there's one known factor in this equation, no students means no sports.
"All of the commissioners and every president that I've talked to is in clear agreement: If you don't have students on campus, you don't have student-athletes on campus. That doesn't mean [the school] has to be up and running in the full normal model, but you have to treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as the regular students. If a school doesn't reopen, then they're not going to be playing sports. It's really that simple."
The key takeaway here is the statement, "the full normal model." What does a partial return for students to campus even look like? Common sense would say either students are back on campus and going to class, or they aren't, right?
There's still plenty up in the air at this point. However, we now know a few things. One is that the SEC is hell-bent on playing football this fall, with or without the rest of the conferences involved. What we also know is that there is a plan set to be in place and an announcement made by July 4th according to Mark Emmert.
How fitting. America's most prestigious and prized possession in terms of sporting events, set to make an announcement on the country's birthday.
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