Schools around the country have begun bringing student-athletes back to campus after months of quarantine and social distancing.
Florida began bringing football players back to campus on June 8. As of June 10th, they had tested more than 80 football players without a positive test for COVID-19. While that is good, the university is preparing to deal with positive tests, as many schools across the country have been dealing with that since allowing student-athletes back to campus.
The hope is that with new precautions, standards, and guidelines in place that there can be sports in the fall.
Monday SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey joined the Rich Eisen Show, where Eisen asked Sankey point black, will there be football this fall?
“I think we do at this point,” Sankey said on the show. “I think we’ve laid a foundation to make it possible. That’s the responsibility right now. The reality is, we’re learning something every day.”
The SEC Commissioner and Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin have been very in line with their public comments. Both have insisted that they cannot speak in absolutes. When the pandemic first caused the cancellation of the SEC Basketball tournament there was still hope for other spring sports. As the situation evolved the league and schools made informed decisions based on new information that came every day.
With the way the virus is trending now, along with getting players back on campus and into controlled environments, the Commissioner believes they will soon know just how feasible having a football season this fall will be.
“I think that’s probably a late-July time period. My thinking has shifted a bit. We started June 8 after a two-week oversight, diagnostic medical exam period for these voluntary activities,” Sankey told Eisen. “We’ll have three or four weeks — on the 13th of July is when a little bit more practice can begin. I think we deserve the chance to see how that progresses. I would say before we get into full-blown practice, you’re going to be in that decision-making process as it relates to what happens on Labor Day weekend, which is the scheduled start of the season.”
Sankey continued on to say that all the league can do is continue to prepare for a season and be ready to have one. They are entrusting all of the schools to educate their coaches, staff, and players as they continue to follow public health guidelines.
Sankey’s statement Monday might now be as definitive as some may want to hear, but it comes across as hopeful and shows the league is taking every measure to be ready for a season this fall.