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Georgia AD Greg McGarity comments on added opponents, opening practice date questions

ATHENS — Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Thursday night the Bulldogs know they will play the eight SEC previously scheduled opponents, but they don’t know when they will play them.

The SEC has announced it’s going to a 10-game conference-only schedule. The SEC Championship Game has been moved back to Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

DETAILS EMERGE: SEC opts for 10-game, conference-only schedule

Georgia was originally scheduled to open the league portion of its season at Alabama on Sept. 19.

That will obviously not be the game date as the league also announced it has pushed back the start of its season to Sept. 26.

“I wouldn’t pay attention to any (previously scheduled game) dates,” McGarity said. “The only thing for certain is that we’ll play our Eastern (Division) opponents, and then we have Auburn and Alabama, and then we’ll have two more (West Division) teams.”

RELATED: How 10-game SEC slate could help Georgia, projected model

McGarity said league officials had not started to discuss how the SEC would fill out a 10-game league schedule with good reason.

“There was not an intent to go there first, because it might have swayed some decision making if we knew who we were going to play,” McGarity said. “We’ll start that discussion very soon with the commissioner.”

RELATED: Georgia makes official statement on SEC changes

McGarity said the SEC hadn’t clarified when teams could start practices, but Sports Illustrated reported the NCAA will allow teams to start practices based on their original home games.

 

The NCAA Division I Council released a six-week practice schedule for teams to apply leading into the season. The first official practices were originally scheduled 29 days before the season-opening game.

Teams are currently working out without equipment for 20 hours per week, with up to one hour per day involving the usage of a football.

McGarity said UGA supports all of the SEC decisions in the interest of safety amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“The 10-game SEC schedule provides us the best opportunity to play football as safely as possible in a Covid environment,” McGarity said.

“It’s disappointing the schedule model does not make it possible to play Georgia Tech; however, we look forward to renewing that rivalry in 2021. “

Other points from McGarity:

• The SEC AD made their scheduling recommendations on Wednesday before the ACC announced its schedule model.

• All SEC are scheduled to have an open date on Dec. 12, the week before the SEC Championship Game.

• Spring football was “not an option we discussed, it was a fallback if everything else failed.”

• The SEC will continue East and West Divisional play leading to league title game.

• Georgia plans to play Florida in Jacksonville “unless something changes.”

• Masks will be mandatory at Georgia homes games, though no attendance model has been determined.

• Georgia looks forward to resuming the Georgia Tech rivalry in 2021.

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