SEC commish remains ‘comfortable’ with safety, return to field this fall

FILE - In this March 11, 2020, file photo, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey announces that fans will not be allowed in the arena to watch NCAA college basketball games in the SEC tournament in Nashville, Tenn. After the Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, to discuss mounting concern about whether a college football season can be played in a pandemic, players took to social media to urge leaders to let them play. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) (Mark Humphrey, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – College football this fall remains in limbo, but leaders from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences are still preparing for fall sports.

On Tuesday, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences postponed fall sports, even after President Donald Trump said that canceling college football would be a “tragic” mistake.

The ACC and SEC, along with the Big 12, remain determined to play this fall.

The 2020 season hangs in the balance as each conference tries to balance player safety and the challenges of competing during a pandemic. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey went on the radio this morning and said the conference is still planning to move forward with football in 2020. After the announcements from the two conferences suspending fall sports, Sankey said he was interested to hear what went in to those decisions.

“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today. I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes,” Sankey said in a statement.

The ACC followed the SEC’s lead and said that it “will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well.”

President Trump, appearing this morning on Fox Sports Radio, made his case for a college football season.

“These football players are very young, strong people, and physically, I mean they’re physically in extraordinary shape, so I think football is making a tragic mistake,” Trump said.

The ACC moved to a 10 plus one format for the season two weeks ago with 10 conference games and one non-conference opponent. ACC football will begin on Sept. 10.

The SEC announced July 30 that it planned to play a 10-game, conference-only schedule and pushed the start of its season to Sept. 26.

Some schools have expressed interest in playing football outside of their conferences this fall but Sankey said that it would be difficult to allow teams to join the conference for this season.

VIDEO: President Trump has said canceling college football would be a "tragic" mistake.

About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.