Washington Post Obtains Troubling Audio Recording From SEC Meeting
SEC officials have decided on how the season will look, but according to audio obtained by the Washington Post, there will be unavoidable consequences for playing.
In the recording, an unidentified SEC official says that positive COVID-19 tests are a "given"
"I don't have great concerns about them contracting it during play, I have great concerns about them contracting it hanging out," the official said. "It's not gonna happen so much on the field, it's gonn happen in rooms, it's gonna happen in bars, it's going to happen hanging out with friends. I think that's the greatest risk. We can't be 100 percent. We're never going to be 100 percent. There are going to be some outbreaks. We're going to have some positive cases on every single team in the SEC. That's a given."
The NCAA has put provisions in place for student-athletes who would like to opt out of playing this season and will allow them to keep their scholarships, but so far very few have taken advantage of the offer.
Last week, it was agreed upon that the SEC would move to a 10-game conference-only schedule. The season opener will be three weeks later than originally scheduled to give school and conference officials more time to monitor trends in cases in the SEC states, which are still rising.
"After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in an article posted on the conference website. "The decision to limit competition to Conference-only opponents and rescheduling the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals."
He added that the decisions will help ensure there is no stoppage during the year and fans get a full campaign.
"We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur," Sankey said. "It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures."