Commissioner Greg Sankey: SEC still considering full football schedule

Georgia football-SEC football-Greg Sankey
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, shown here on Friday, Dec. 6, on the even of the SEC Championship Football Game, said the league is still considering a full schedule of games.

ATHENS — Greg Sankey said the SEC is still considering playing a full football schedule during his appearance on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio show on Wednesday.

“It is for us,” The SEC commissioner told host Adam Schein, asked about a full season schedule still being on the table in the wake of the Big Ten and Pac-12 announcing last week they would play conference games only the fall.

RELATED: SEC pushes back start of fall sports schedule

Sankey noted the SEC previously had two teams scheduled to play Pac-12 teams, Alabama vs USC, and Texas A&M vs. Colorado.

UGA athletic director Greg McGarity had told DawgNation last week that SEC schools would be inclined to do all they could to maintain non-conference rivalry games.

Georgia is scheduled to close the season with Georgia Tech on Nov. 28 in an annual in-state battle.

It is likewise for other SEC schools who finish up with ACC in-state rivals such as South Carolina-Clemson, Florida-Florida State and Kentucky-Louisville.

The ACC, like the SEC and Big 12, has indicated it will wait until the end of the July before announcing any decisions.

Sankey expounded on why “Late July” has been the timeline he has previously used for determining the course of action for the SEC this season.

For one, the SEC will closely monitor the continuation of football workout activities that began on June 8 that now include football staff oversight for the next two weeks.

Sankey also said much can be learned from the NASCAR event in Bristol, Tenn., on Wednesday, where a crowd of about 30,000 is anticipated.

Sankey noted the race is “in a place that three years ago held a football game,” referring to the so-called “Battle of Bristol” between Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

“The start up with Major League Baseball, where they will be moving around from community to community, moving around the umpires as well, that is important information,” Sankey said.

“The start of a preseason camp in NFL (next Tuesday) which will be about 10 days before our (full) practices begin. So we look towards the end of the month as a check in point. That is not an absolute date but certainly one that is really important.”

Sankey indicated decisions about the upcoming football season will also be influenced by there turn of students to campuses around  the SEC.

“I look towards late in the month as a check in point at least,” Sankey said, “and soon thereafter we will have to make a decision.”

Sankey said the SEC will learn from the pro sports, but not necessarily follow their lead or take cues from them.

“Our cues, candidly, are what our health circumstances, what state and local health officials indicate, what our medial advisory group indicates, the ability of young people to stay healthy during the on-campus activities we’ve been supporting since June 8, which has happened,” Sankey said.

“We always knew there would be positive tests. But can you identify, isolate, keep people healthy and then reduce the spread of the virus — which is what’s been happening.

“That’s the need, and that’s what we need in society, as well.”

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