A day after the Southeastern Conference canceled all of its spring sports events, including spring football games, because of the coronavirus pandemic, conference commissioner Greg Sankey held conference call with the media Wednesday.
“We are in one of those circumstances in life where there may be more ‘I don’t knows’ than ‘I know how something will play out,’ ” Sankey said during a 45-minute conference call.
Sankey did allow for a glimmer of hope that spring practice could be salvaged in some form.
He said a few school come make it possible, but added that it could be a long shot given the potential of the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I’m not going to be overly optimistic,” said Sankey of spring football. “I think practically, that window is very narrow.”
In an earlier press conference this week, President Donald Trump said the battle against the virus could last as late as July or August.
Given health recommendations at various local or state levels, spring football may not happen, especially for the Georgia Bulldogs. Officials at the University System of Georgia has cancelled all activities including graduation.
“I’m not going to be overly optimistic about the return to practice,” he said. “We haven’t foreclosed that opportunity, but I think practically that window is pretty narrow.”
If there was some positive news from Sankey’s remarks at least, it’s that such preparations for the fall season are at least moving ahead. This includes the conference going “full steam ahead” on plans to hold SEC Media Days in Atlanta in July — though the commissioner noted that he said the same thing last week about the basketball tournament that was eventually canceled.
“Our focus is on preparing for the ’20-21 academic year,” Sankey said. “We’ll obviously think about everything going forward because we’re being guided by public health information and decision-making. But my hope is we can return to our normal organized activities, our normal experiences, and be part of that celebration around soccer, volleyball, cross-country and football in the fall.”