The commissioner of the Southeastern Conference told its member universities Monday that the conference will not be rescheduling games if a team cannot play because of COVID-19 infections.
In his remarks during the SEC Media Days meeting, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced that six of the SEC’s 14 football teams have reached an 80% mark for team vaccinations, according to ESPN.
“That number needs to grow and grow rapidly,” Sankey said. “We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of a COVID environment.”
Sankey did not name the six teams that had reached the vaccination goal, The Associated Press reported. The conference already said that it will not require players to be vaccinated to participate.
For an SEC program to avoid regular COVID-19 testing and being required to wear masks while indoors, it must achieve an 85% vaccination threshold.
Sankey suggested that if teams cannot play their games because of COVID-19 issues, they would have to forfeit the game.
“You’re expected to play as scheduled,” Sankey said. “That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won’t be rescheduled.
“And thus, to dispose of the game, the ‘forfeit’ word comes up at this point.”
Sankey also encouraged fans, coaches, players and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
“And when people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the virus’ spread, and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and to normal life,” he said.
“With six weeks to go before kickoff, now is the time to seek that full vaccination.”
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