SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey: “We are running out of time”

College Sports

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey testifies before a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The hearing is looking at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors’ recent report on student-athlete compensation and the modernization of rules related to name, image, and likeness commercialization. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN) – SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has been rather transparent throughout this COVID-19 pandemic and on Saturday he voiced his concern for the football season as “high to very high.”

In an interview on Marty & McGee on ESPN Radio, Sankey was asked about the decisions the SEC must make about the upcoming season, that after the Big Ten and Pac-12 have decided to move to conference-only schedules.

“The direct reality is not good and the notion that we’ve politicized medical guidance of distancing, and breathing masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buildings. There’s some very clear advice about — you can’t mitigate and eliminate every risk, but how do you minimize the risk? … We are running out of time to correct and get things right, and as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be,” said Sankey.

Sankey followed up on Twitter after ESPN’s Peter Burns retweeted his statement:

When it comes to SEC’s deadline to make a decision, that remains late July. Sankey recalled a conversation he had with a biostatistician, who told him he should take all the time he needs before making a decision because every day will provide more information.

Sankey added, “That literally is playing out in front of us every day. That’s why I don’t feel any pressure because of somebody else’s decisions. We’re trying to make the right decisions for us, for the Southeastern Conference. It does have an impact because I’ve said publicly we’re all linked nationally, so when other people make decisions, yup, there’s an impact, but also we’re going to look at our situation and make a decision that’s appropriate for the Southeastern Conference and most importantly for the health of our student-athletes.”

The Big 12 and ACC have also announced they will wait until later in July before making any decisions about the fall season or possible scheduling arrangements.

“What I’ve tried to do is both keep a focus on what’s ahead but provide reality, which has been I’m going to focus on preparing to play the season as scheduled but acknowledge the circumstances around coronavirus are going to guide us in that decision-making,” Sankey said. “And the reality right now is the trends in our region, in our nation, are not in the positive direction for being able to have normal experiences.”

It’s a season of change for the NFL, college, and high school football. News 2 digs deeper into the impact that COVID-19 is having on the game. See our special reports all day Thursday in every newscast. Click here for more.

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