Report: SEC to Allow LSU, Conference Schools to Hold Virtual Meetings, Instruction Starting Next Week

Glen West

The SEC sent a memo to all conference schools Friday afternoon that  will allow teams to start holding virtual meetings and instruction with their players starting Monday.

The memo, first reported by 247Sports, allows coaches and players to hold position meetings and instruction similar to the fashion of a regular spring football session. On March 13, the conference disbanded any virtual meetings between players and coaches to avoid a competitive advantage during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

LSU has been out of school for two weeks due to the outbreak and for spring break, but is set to resume classes on Monday. The SEC also laid out a strict policy in the memo that states that meetings and instruction through film review or other virtual avenues can be no longer than two hours per week in all sports.

Strength and conditioning coaches will also be allowed to continue to send student athletes workout regimens and schedules though the memo does state that coaches and athletic staff will not be allowed to virtually watch the workouts and provide instruction.

The memo goes into effect at noon on Monday, March 30. A copy of the memo can be found below:

This memorandum is to provide institutions with direction on the Southeastern Conference policy regarding athletically related activities for all sports beginning March 30, 2020. This policy will clarify and modify the policy approved by the SEC Presidents & Chancellors on March 13, 2020 and remain in effect until, at least, April 15. As a reminder, the March 13, 2020 policy stated:

"It was MOVED and SECONDED to cease all athletics activities, voluntary or required, including practices, individual and team workouts effective at the end of the day on Friday, March 13 and continuing through Wednesday, April 15. Team meetings shall conclude no later than 5 pm local time on Monday, March 16.”

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.