The Southeastern Conference commissioner hinted Monday that he is working to make the 2020 season a reality despite the coronavirus outbreak and reports that the Big Ten plans on canceling the football season.
“Best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: ‘Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,’” Greg Sankey, the commissioner, said.
Jim Sterk, the Missouri athletics director, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the SEC is “working collaboratively to develop plans for all sports to return to play in the healthiest environment possible.”
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The college football gridiron is the latest battleground in President Trump’s push to reopen the country’s economy. He has faced resistance at every turn from Democrats and state leaders who accuse him of being reckless with the country’s health in order to benefit his reelection chances. Trump supporters claim these state leaders are purposely keeping businesses closed in order to hurt Trump.
But Trump has remained undeterred and used his influential Twitter account to toss Hail Marys all day in hopes to garner support for the season.
“Play College Football!” he tweeted on Monday, followed by a highlight reel from the previous season with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. He even retweeted Trevor Lawrence, the star quarterback from Clemson, who tweeted his desire to play in the 2020 season.
“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled,” Trump tweeted.
The Detroit Free-Press reported earlier that the Big Ten is close to canceling its fall season due to coronavirus concerns. The paper, citing unnamed sources, reported that the move to cancel the season is done and just needs to be announced.
The report pointed to Dan Patrick, the former ESPN host, who reported that there was a vote that included conference presidents that came back 12-2 in favor of canceling the season.
There have been conflicting reports that indicate that the season could be delayed but Kirk Herbstreit, an ESPN college football analyst, reported that it is a “fluid situation.”
“Things are said one minute and changed the next,” he tweeted. “So we’ll see what happens in the next 24-48 hours.”