SEC to Allow Virtual Meetings and Instruction Amidst COVID-19

Brooks Austin

Spring practice is a time when college football coaches get a chance to evaluate their entire roster, not just the ones that make the travel bus in the fall. But it's also a place where players learn new systems, build relationships with new coaches, and bond with teammates. 

Starting Monday, teams will get to start doing those things, kinda. 

The SEC has released a statement that will allow programs to hold virtual meetings with coaches and players beginning Monday. 

Though players and coaches will be able to hold meetings and instructions, they will not be allowed to do any physical activities, as first reported by 247sports. 

The March 13, 2020 policy is clarified and modified as follows:

1. All required physical athletic activities (e.g., strength and conditioning workouts, sport-specific workouts) shall be prohibited. This prohibition includes both in-person involvement, and any virtual involvement by institutional staff such as remotely watching, directing, or reviewing physical workouts.

2. Required virtual film review, chalk talk, etc. that does not include physical activity shall be permissible. Any required activity of this nature shall be limited to two (2) hours of activity per week in all sports, shall be scheduled in accordance with the institution’s established Time Management Policy, and shall not interfere with required class time for online instruction. These activities may not include a review by or live monitoring of film/video of a student-athlete engaging in workouts or physical activity occurring after March 13, 2020. Institutions may not suggest or require a student-athlete to make film/video of his/her workouts or physical activity available by other means (such as social media).

3. Prospective student-athletes may not be involved in any way in such required, countable activities conducted by the institution.

4. Only countable coaching staff members may be involved in providing technical or tactical instruction to student-athletes as part of such virtual activity.

5. Student-athletes may continue to be provided strength and conditioning workouts and/or sport-specific drills; however, coaches and other athletics staff may not observe the activity (virtually or in-person). Student-athletes may not be required to workouts and/or drills, nor may they be required to report back on such activity to any athletics staff member.

6. These modifications shall be effective as of 12:00 pm Central/1:00 pm Eastern on Monday, March 30.

7. Further assessment of off-season and/or summer activities will occur in the coming weeks.

8. Athletics programs are expected to comply with public health directives governing workplace activity and limitations on gatherings.

This policy does not impact the Conference’s earlier statement that you may continue to “provide student-athletes with care and support in the areas of academics; medical care; mental health and wellness; and housing, as needed.” Consistent with normal practice, violations of this SEC policy are to be reported to the Conference office and will be subject to penalties at the discretion of the Commissioner. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

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