Play or not, SEC athletes will keep scholarships and remain in good standing

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The Southeastern Conference released a statement on Friday that addressed the status of players who refuse to participate in athletic contests in the fall of 2020.

By Don Yates

The release could be an indicator that SEC football will happen in 2020 but there are still many unanswered questions. One big concern is whether or not fans be allowed to attend games. What happens if a player tests positive for the coronavirus? What happens to all the players who may have practiced or played in games with COVID-19 infected players? Is a team with a newly infected player allowed to continue game competition?

The league has answered one big question. Now it’s time to get going answering the many other questions. Here is the text of Friday’s release:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (July 17, 2020) – Southeastern Conference student-athletes who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team, the Conference announced Friday.

The action is the result of a unanimous vote of the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors following a recommendation of the Conference’s Athletics Directors.

“SEC universities are committed to full support of its student-athletes, whether or not a student-athlete decides to participate in sports during these uncertain times,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “SEC student-athletes have frequently expressed their desire to compete, but it is important for student-athletes and their families to know the financial support committed to them by their institutions will not be at risk because of health concerns presented by the current pandemic.”

The SEC will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine at a later date if the policy should be extended to the Spring semester of 2021 or beyond.

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