Greg Sankey says SEC was prepared for some athletes to test positive for coronavirus, outlines league's protocol for dealing with cases
Headlines from around the country regarding the number of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 following their return to campus in preparation for the upcoming college football season have some questioning whether we will even have a season this fall.
Among those calling into question the likelihood that the upcoming season will be played is radio host Dan Patrick. During the most recent airing of the “Dan Patrick Show” on Monday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey did his best to calm the host’s nerves.
After seeing all the headlines regarding the number of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 from around the county, Sankey was asked if this was something the SEC planned or expected as it worked on its plan once athletes returned to the 14 league campuses.
“It was prepared for. The goal was never to expect zero, that’s just not reality around us,” Sankey answered.” The plan was, test when they arrive. We had positive tests when people came back. We have embedded medical professionals in our athletics program. That’s part of what I think gets missed is the level of care provided for young people on our campuses on a daily basis.
“And then there was preparation for the what-ifs. And so those hypotheticals that I have avoided answering are very much a part of planning. What do we do if a bunch of people go to a party or someone tests positive? What do we do if there’s a positive? So, what do we do and they come back? How many people can be allowed in a facility? What is the spacing? What is the expectation when you walk in and leave? What is the continuing reinforcement about the education provided that well you made it through one week doesn’t mean you’ll make it through to unless you take care of yourselves.”
The reality of the situation we are all living is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring following the pandemic but rested assured, the SEC is thinking ahead and planning for a laundry list of eventualities that could arise in the weeks and months to come.
“There are no guarantees,” Sankey continued. “You can go back to March where we all thought we were playing basketball tournaments and March Madness would happen. We made assumptions and we have fewer assumptions made (now) and that’s why we have to prepare for the whole set of contingencies.”
The league commissioner went on to say the plan remains the same for the SEC, the season will be played as scheduled but he did note the league has worked out just short of 20 scenarios for the coming season.