The health of our student-athletes, campus communities, fans and general public is an ongoing priority of the Southeastern Conference and its member institutions.
The SEC continues to monitor COVID-19 and is in regular communications with member institutions and public health officials related to the spread of the disease.
SEC 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 SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force has established COVID-19 management requirements for each SEC sport:
- SEC COMPETITION CANCELLED: All SEC regular season conference and non-conference competitions beginning Thursday, March 12 were cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championship events, due to developments related to COVID-19. In addition, all spring football games were cancelled and no pro days were conducted by SEC institutions.
- ACTIVITIES SUSPENDED: Other athletics activities, including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether voluntary or required, were suspended through June 7.
- RESUMPTION OF ATHLETICS ACTIVITIES: Voluntary in-person athletics activities were permitted to resume on SEC campuses, at the discretion of each university, beginning June 8. During the month of June, NCAA regulations allowed only strength and conditioning personnel to supervise voluntary on-campus athletics activities. Consistent with NCAA regulations, organized practices and other required physical activities remained prohibited in all sports. SEC institutions are permitted to engage in required and voluntary activity consistent with NCAA legislation.
- PROHIBITION OF CAMPS AND CLINICS: Conference institutions are prohibited from hosting, conducting, or participating in all in-person camps and coaches’ clinics through August 31.
- POSTPONEMENT OF VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER, CROSS-COUNTRY SEASONS: The start of volleyball, soccer and cross-country competition has been postponed through at least August 31, including all exhibition and non-conference competition.
- NEW START ESTABLISHED FOR FOOTBALL SEASON: The SEC on July 30 established September 26 as the new kickoff for its 2020 football season to allow its universities to focus on the healthy return of their campus communities and the gradual re-introduction of athletics. The 2020 SEC football season will be comprised of a 10-game Conference-only schedule and the SEC Football Championship Game will be played December 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of December 5.
- ADJUSTED PRESEASON FOOTBALL DATES: The SEC announced on August 4 adjusted dates for preseason football activities for SEC schools with the first allowable practice now scheduled for August 17. The new calendar provides student-athletes with more days off than required by the NCAA and fewer practices than permitted by current NCAA rules.
- MEDICAL TASK FORCE REPORT: The SEC announced on August 7 its initial COVID-19 management requirements for the fall athletics season as recommended by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. The full SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management of Fall Sports can be found here.
- 2020 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: The SEC announced on August 17 its revised 10-game, Conference-only schedule.
- FOOTBALL FAN GUIDELINES: The SEC announced on August 18 guidelines for its 14 member schools to establish expectations to manage the health and safety of fans in preparation for the 2020 football season, pending future decisions related to the allowance of fans to attend games as the Conference continues to monitor developments around the COVID-19 virus.
- EXPANDED CARDIAC EVALUATIONS: The SEC on August 21 clarified and expanded its previously announced COVID-19 management requirements for the fall athletics season. The SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force has now specified the cardiac evaluation outlined in its original report would mandate a troponin level, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and a medical evaluation by a physician. The SEC also confirmed a third rapid diagnostic test will be performed each week close to competition for sports with a high risk of close contact.
- NEW START DATES ESTABLISHED FOR VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER, CROSS-COUNTRY: The SEC on August 27 established new start dates and formats for the SEC cross country, soccer and volleyball seasons as well as the fall golf and tennis seasons.
- GAME OPERATIONS GUIDELINES: The SEC on August 28 announced a number of additional game operations guidelines for its 14 member schools, following up on its initial medical protocols and fan guidelines announced earlier in August. The announcement addressed issues related to essential on-field personnel, ticketing, on-field performances, disinfection and media operations.
- NEW START DATES FOR SWIMMING & EQUESTRIAN: The SEC on September 14 established new start dates and formats for the SEC men’s and women’s swimming & diving and equestrian seasons.
- FOOTBALL COVID INTERRUPTION POLICIES: The SEC on September 18 announced policies and parameters for football game cancellations, rescheduling of games and no-contest declarations for the 2020 season.
- CONTACT TRACING DEVICES: The SEC on September 22 announced it is providing cutting-edge wearable proximity devices, produced by global technology leader KINEXON, to its 14 member institutions to enhance COVID-19 contact tracing efforts during the 2020 football season. KINEXON SafeZone technology includes lightweight, wearable devices, called SafeTags, which will be used conference-wide for football student-athletes at team facilities, during practices and games.
- THIRD-PARTY TESTING PROVIDER: The SEC on September 23 announced it has selected PAE to provide COVID-19 testing services for in-season fall sports at each of the 14 SEC campuses. The Conference and PAE have been working together since mid-August to implement testing protocols for fall sports. Teaming with Premier Medical Group, PAE deployed test teams to each campus earlier in September to begin testing and all related logistics for SEC sports.
- NEW START DATES FOR BASKETBALL: The SEC on September 25 announced it has established Dec. 29 and 30 as the new start dates for its 2020-21 men’s basketball conference schedule while the women’s basketball start date will remain Dec. 31, 2020 as previously scheduled. The men’s basketball conference schedule will be comprised of 20 play dates that would accommodate an 18-game schedule with two open dates. The women’s basketball conference schedule -remains at 18 play dates that will fit a 16-game league schedule.
- MEDICAL TASK FORCE REPORT (Spring Sports): The SEC announced on January 13 its initial COVID-19 management requirements for the spring athletics season as recommended by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. The full SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management of Spring Sports can be found here.
SEC member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.
The SEC encourages the use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov) as a source of information for advice on preventive action and updates on the disease, and to seek medical advice from qualified medical professionals when necessary and appropriate.
Below are links to SEC institutional websites, the NCAA and national health organizations that have the latest information on the coronavirus.
National Organization Websites