Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey said in an ESPN Radio interview Saturday morning that his concern about the feasibility of playing football is "high to very high," and the deadline for the SEC to decide how it'll proceed with fall athletic seasons amid coronavirus remains late July.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 are two of the five Power 5 conferences that have announced that their teams have canceled non-conference games and plan to only play conference games.
The Big 12, ACC and SEC haven't publicly announced any decisions. The SEC leader said the additional time will help make a more informed decision.
"That literally is playing out in front of us every day," Sankey said, according to ESPN. "That's why I don't feel any pressure because of somebody else's decisions."
Sankey also said the public had to do its part to help limit the coronavirus’ spread.
“The direct reality is not good, and the notion that we’ve politicized medical guidance of distancing and breaking masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buidlings.
“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.”
Sankey later reiterated his stance on Twitter, posting, “I want to provide the opportunity for college athletics to be part of the fall, but we need to all consider our behavior to make possible what right now appears very difficult.”
According to Sports Illustrated, all 14 SEC athletic directors are set to meet in-person at the league offices in Birmingham, Alabama, on Monday to discuss fall sports scheduling.
Coronavirus cases are spiking once again in areas across the country, and, as state and local governments halt re-opening plans and implement laws inhibiting large gatherings, sports leagues are following suit.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday on WWL Radio's "SportsTalk" with Bobby Hebert and Kristian Garic "we've been told that in all likelihood we're playing. If that changes, that's out of our control."
Orgeron said LSU's case numbers are "way down" from its initial spike after voluntary workouts began June 9, when most of the team's cases were due to players attending bars in Tigerland.
Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen started the phone call off responding to whether it's been a long day.
LSU's total number of cases focused around a group of five to six players, a source told The Advocate. No players were hospitalized and each case showed mild symptoms. Sports Illustrated reported at least 30 of LSU's football team was isolated because they either tested positive for COVID-19 or were in contact with others who tested positive.
"The number 30 was not correct," Orgeron said. "That was inaccurate. I don't know who said that. It wasn't that high. But we did have a little spike. Now it's going down. I think it's under control. I think it's a fairly low number right now that we're very pleased with. It looks like everything's going smooth for us."
Once again it’s feeling uncomfortably like March, when the sports world was switching into hibernation mode. Only this time, it's with more ma…
Staff writer Brooks Kubena contributed to this report.