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SEC ADs meet in person, no changes to 2020 schedules — yet

SEC ADs meet in person, no changes to 2020 schedules — yet

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Jim Sterk

Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk, at a news conference in December. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

For the first time in four months the athletics directors in the Southeastern Conference met in person Monday in Birmingham, Ala., along with conference staff members.

They left without any seismic changes to the the fall sports calendar in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the Big Ten and Pac-12 have already decided to play only conference sporting events this fall, the SEC, as expected, will put off any major decisions until late July, commissioner Greg Sankey said.

If so, that means the next couple weeks will be the most crucial toward salvaging a 2020 college football season. 

"We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead,” Sankey said after the SEC's first in-person AD meeting since they met in Nashville before the start of the men's basketball tournament. “The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting.”

“It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis,” Sankey added. “In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.”

Among the topics discussed Monday, the league said, were "possible scheduling options for holding athletic competition in the fall of 2020" and "game management best practices for ensuring a healthy environment at athletics events for student-athletes, coaches, officials, staff and fans."

The ADs also heard a report from members of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force and discussed the preseason calendar and an update on current COVID-19 testing procedures.

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