Southeastern Conference players, coaches and fans are patiently waiting for the SEC to make a decision regarding this fall’s football season. As of Wednesday evening, the fall seasons are set to resume as outlined in the conference’s most recent adjustments, pushing the football season back two weeks with conference-only competition.
Questions about the future of SEC football rose after the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced Tuesday that fall sports would be delayed until the spring. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement Tuesday night regarding the Big Ten and Pac-12’s decisions.
“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today. I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day,” the statement read.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State football players have taken to social media to join the conversation, advocating for a fall season. Some, like Ole Miss quarterbacks John Rhys Plumlee and Matt Corral simply shared tweets using the hashtag “#WeWantToPlay,” a trend sparked by 2019 National Championship MVP and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Erroll Thompson at Mississippi State also hopped on the trend.
Some suspect that if the SEC decides to host its football season this fall, many teams from other conferences will temporarily join the SEC for a season.
With the cancellation of the fall football season, others have expressed concerns that this could lead to a cancellation of all college sports this year, as football programs have long been the premier fundraiser for entire athletics departments. Gov. Tate Reeves echoed this worry during his press briefing Tuesday.
“I am concerned about the financial impacts to all of the other sports,” Reeves said. “At larger universities, there is no doubt that football helps fund not only scholarships but the annual operating budgets of virtually every sport.”
Some Division II conferences have also postponed fall sports, including the Gulf South Conference. Delta State and Mississippi College represent the state of Mississippi in this conference. The NCAA announced earlier this month that D-II and D-III championships were canceled for fall seasons as well.