UPDATE: The SEC announced on Thursday (March 12) the remainder of the league basketball tournament has been canceled amid concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.
NASHVILLE — Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation late Wednesday night that Georgia fans can only “stay tuned” where the Bulldogs’ annual G-Day spring football game is concerned.
“I would ask the fans to be patient, more information will be forthcoming at the end of March,” McGarity said. “We still have some time left. I would just say stay tuned, and we’ll see what the landscape looks like.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement on Wednesday that attendance at the ongoing league basketball tournament — along with spring sports — would be restricted on account of the coronavirus outbreak.
Sankey said the suspension of fan attendance at SEC events would be re-assessed on March 30.
“We had very brief conversations about spring (football) games and various activities,” Sankey said during his press conference at Bridgestone Arena. “So we’ll be reconnecting. I think most of those (spring football games) are outside of our March 30th window.
“We’re proceeding with other things. We have a video review session this weekend for football preparations. We obviously have been in the crisis consideration and crisis management situations that’s kept our attention on the immediate issues.”
At the time of this publication, there have been 938 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. with 29 related deaths across 39 jurisdictions including the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
McGarity said the league will stay on top of the situation with an abundance of communication.
“As we know things change so rapidly with the coronavirus, with getting our hands around the coronavirus, we learn more every day,” McGarity said. “I’m sure we will probably be meeting on a conference call every day for the next week or so to get updated.”
McGarity was part of conference calls earlier on Wednesday with other league athletic directors and presidents. Sankey outlined the SEC’s course of action after the NCAA announced fan access would be limited for the upcoming basketball tournament.
“There is no one who wanted to make this decision,” Sankey told the SEC Network. “But there’s a reality with the information that’s being provided that, in the interest of public health, and trying to stop increasing spread of this virus, we’re gong to fulfill a responsibility and hopefully mitigate the spread across this country.”
McGarity said there was no other responsible course of action.
“It’s very disappointing, it’s so unfortunate for everyone that’s already here,” McGarity said. “But after learning the information, every facet of it from Mr. (Mark) Emmert, there was really no other decision to do than follow that same protocol.”
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