The Southeastern Conference continues to discuss various dates and formats for its 2020 Media Days, which will be held in a virtual environment as part of the league’s coronavirus response, SEC Associate Commissioner for Communications Herb Vincent said on Tuesday.
“The league is still discussing options for our 2020 Media Days,” Vincent said, adding that there has been no “postponement” of the event based on projections about the upcoming season.
“When we made the decision not to hold the event in its usual format in Atlanta, we announced at that time that no date has been determined,” Vincent said. “We continue to look at possible scenarios.”
It is unlikely that student-athletes would be required to travel away from their respective campuses. It is also unlikely that the head coaches, who traditionally participate in question-and-answer sessions with various branches of the media, would be involved in teleconferences with 700 or more reporters hoping to ask questions.
“Conducting football media days in a virtual format will provide us the opportunity to manage the event in a healthy manner as we continue to be impacted by COVID-19,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said earlier this month. “(It) will provide flexibility for our programs to adjust their preparation for the 2020 football season according to the preseason calendar. We look forward to returning to our traditional media days format in 2021.”
The current calendar approved by the NCAA and SEC has student-athletes in fall sports – including football and basketball – on campus for voluntary workouts and virtual meetings with coaches.
Football teams whose first contest is currently scheduled for Sept. 5 will shift to expanded summer access on July 13, allowing up to eight hours of mandatory weight training, conditioning and film review per week (with not more than two hours of film review per week) through July 24.
Beginning July 24, through Aug. 6, schools may conduct up to 20 hours of countable athletically-related activities per week (not more than four hours per day) as follows:
Up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning.
Up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which may include the use of a football.
Up to six hours per week for meetings, which may include film review, team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc.
During this 14-day period, student-athletes are required to get at least two days off.
The traditional August schedule will begin 29 days before a team’s opening game.
Alabama remains tentatively scheduled for a Sept. 5 opener against USC in Dallas, Texas, a state which has seen an increase in mandatory COVID-19 precautions in the past week. No final decisions regarding scheduling, attendance and safety measures have been made by UA, which continues to consider a wide range of options.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey acknowledged that COVID-19 remains “a serious health threat” during a Tuesday press conference in Montgomery but did not impose any new restrictions other than a request for “more personal responsibility.”
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