By LARRY VAUGHT
Did you see the Washington Post story on a private meeting between Southeastern Conference leaders, medical personnel and several SEC football players?
The meeting reportedly took place one day before the SEC announced a 10-game, conference only schedule starting Sept. 25.
Post reporters Robert Klemko and Emily Giambalvo have a recording of the meeting where one league official said, “There are going to be outbreaks. We’re going to have positive cases on every single team in the SEC. That’s a given. And we can’t prevent it.”
Remember, this is coming from a SEC leader saying COVID-19 can’t be stopped from infecting SEC players.
The Post reported players on the SEC call were part of a student-athlete leadership council and one player asked point blank if it was even worth having a season with so many unknowns now.
Not really sure this answer the story reported that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey gave to that question would make me feel a lot better if I was a SEC athlete.
“Part of our work is to bring as much certainty in the midst of this really strange time as we can so you can play football in the most healthy way possible, with the understanding there aren’t any guarantees in life,” Sankey said.
And one has to believe that when students do return to campus as they are scheduled to do across the SEC in a few weeks, the danger for players goes way up because all students won’t be tested as often or monitored like athletes who will be in the same classes with them.
A SEC official responded that if students are not back on campus, it would be hard to justify having football. That same official said SEC players should “encourage” regular students to behave responsibly — which most of us know will be impossible — and to stay in the back of the classroom away from as many other students as possible.
The Post had a strong statement from Texas A&M linebacker Keeath Magee on the call.
“You guys have answered a lot of questions the best way that you guys could, and we really appreciate it. But as much as you guys don’t know … it’s just kind of not good enough,” he said. “We want to play. We want to see football. We want to return to normal as much as possible.
“But it’s just that with all this uncertainty, all this stuff that’s still circulating in the air, y’all know it kind of leaves some of us still scratching my head. … I feel like the college campus is the one thing that you can’t control.”
Catherine O’Neal, a professor of medicine who specializes in infectious diseases, told the players that if they get COVID-19 and even if they are not hospitalized, it could still “take something out of you” for weeks.
You can read the full story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/08/01/sec-football-players-safety-meeting/