Greg Sankey comments on SEC's decision to change league scheduling format for the coming season
It’s official, the Southeastern Conference has become the latest Power 5 league to shift to a conference-only scheduling format.
The league will not play any non-conference games this season, which unfortunately ends several longstanding in-state rivalry streaks such as Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville, South Carolina-Clemson and Georgia-Georgia Tech.
The SEC has also decided to push back the start of the season a few weeks with the season now slated to start on Saturday, Sept. 26. The 2020 SEC Championship Game has also been pushed back, with the new date set for December 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Following this news, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has issued his first comments on the decision:
“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” Sankey said. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities.
“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.”
“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.”