The SEC Football Media Day opened on Monday in Hoover, Alabama. This is the latest opportunity for the conference to remind people of the frequently repeated mantra through banners, signs and billboards: It means more.
However, US Securities and Exchange Commission member Greg Sankey highlighted the factual information for 2021. He even dropped an F bomb-“confiscation”-to facilitate this.
Sankey said in his opening speech: “There are still six weeks to go before kick-off. Now is the time to seek comprehensive vaccination.” “We know that nothing is perfect, but the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine is an important one. And an incredible scientific product. It’s not political football.”
This is a strong statement because it comes from the regions where 10 of the 11 states in the US Securities and Exchange Commission voted for the Republican Party in the 2020 general election. This has nothing to do with politics or personal decisions.
This is about football. how much remaining?
Sankey continues to collect statistics related to the COVID-19 vaccine and SEC member agencies. Six of the 14 schools that participated in the meeting reached the 80% vaccination threshold. The next six weeks will determine how college football fits into the entire Southern vaccination equation.
Perhaps the purest message to support vaccines should be, “It only takes one game.”
Ask North Carolina State University, it has to give up its position in the University World Series. This is the same standard that will be adopted for this football season in 2021, which was the message of the top 12 on their media day last week.
“Like last year, we still have the lowest list,” Sankey said. “What I am sure to consider among our members is that we have cancelled those minimum lists and you should play as planned. This means that your team must remain healthy to participate in the game, otherwise the game will not be rescheduled. Therefore, to deal with the game, the word confiscated appeared at this time. This is not a policy. What you see is the bookend of the decision.”
The confiscation is not a sure thing, but Sankey offers it as a less concealed threat. What else can the conference do? Imagine how the forfeiture would be received in the US Securities and Exchange Commission country. Remember, last year two SEC games were postponed for four weeks. Imagine if Florida-Louisiana State University-one of the best games of the SEC season-did not reschedule in 2020.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has the ability to include the COVID-19 postponement into last year’s schedule-a conference schedule with only 10 games, with enough built-in flexibility to win the conference championship in the college football playoffs. Of course, Alabama won the national championship. Texas A&M also almost grabbed a spot in the playoffs.
For arguably the busiest season in college football history, the SEC has one of the best plans. The only two games in 2020 are Vanderbilt University in Georgia and Ole Miss of Texas A&M. The difference this season is that flexibility does not exist. Texas A&M University and Georgia State ranked 5th and 9th respectively in the final college football playoffs last season, and may need to participate in the last game in 2021. Even with the emergence of COVID-19, the margin of error is smaller than that in 2020. The threat still exists.
“We didn’t build time like last year, especially at the end of the season, to accommodate interruptions,” Sankey said. “Unless we do this, our team will have to fully prepare for the season as planned, which is why the motivation for vaccination is embedded in my remarks.”
Will other schools listen? Florida coach Dan Mullen did not disclose whether his team has reached the 80% threshold. Hoover’s other coaches will be asked the same question. The only voice with more weight than Sankey is that of Alabama coach Nick Saban. He was infected with COVID-19 last season and has appeared in a commercial ad, encouraging fans to hope that the entire stadium will be vaccinated.
Regardless of personal politics, this should be all the motivation a player needs. All it takes is a game, which can make one of the teams miss the college football playoffs. For a conference that likes this statistic-13 national football championships since the beginning of BCS in 1998-when it comes to reaching the 80% threshold, it should be an easy decision.
How much more information do you need?