As universities desperately attempt to rescue the school soccer season whereas the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the nation, the Southeastern Convention turned the most recent — and most influential — league to push again the beginning of its season and trim its schedule to conference-only video games.
The SEC’s resolution, made by the convention’s 14 college presidents, comes at some point after the Atlantic Coast Convention got here to an analogous conclusion — additionally together with Notre Dame, which is a member of the convention in different sports activities however often an unbiased in soccer.
The SEC introduced it might transfer the beginning of the season again by not less than three weeks, to Sept. 26, and play 10 video games, which would go away every college with an open date — together with one other open weekend previous the convention championship recreation, which is now scheduled for Dec. 19.
The Massive Ten and the Pac-12 conferences had beforehand introduced they might play solely convention video games this season. That leaves solely the Massive 12 among the many so-called Energy 5 conferences that has not amended its schedule, although the convention on Thursday did cancel its media day, which had already been pushed again.
The shrinking and fluid schedules are the extraordinary measures being taken to make sure that universities can salvage the profitable tv revenues that, together with an unpaid labor pressure — the gamers — gasoline the school athletics industrial advanced. The SEC introduced in $720.6 million in income for the fiscal 12 months ending final Aug. 31, according to USA Today.
Even with out followers, the faculties nonetheless stand to obtain appreciable payouts from their broadcast offers. The Massive Ten has the richest TV contract, paying its faculties as a lot as $54 million every final season.
The conference-only schedules have meant the cancellation of sure rivalry video games, like South Carolina and Clemson, and marquee interleague video games, like Alabama and Southern California, which had been scheduled in Arlington, Tex., and Texas at Louisiana State.
However by enjoying solely convention video games, faculties can largely keep away from touring outdoors their areas and in addition can extra firmly standardize virus testing and security protocols.
“We imagine these schedule changes supply one of the best alternative to finish a full season by giving us the flexibility to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the pliability to regulate schedules as mandatory if disruptions happen,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated in a press release asserting the modifications.
The SEC plans to announce its new schedule subsequent month.
The school soccer season, although, is more and more in jeopardy at a time when the virus, which had triggered nearly 152,000 deaths in the United States as of Thursday, has proven few indicators of slowing. The issue of enjoying even a truncated season has been on show within the final week in Main League Baseball, which noticed the Miami Marlins quickly shut down — and their opponents rescheduled — after half the roster contracted the virus.
Greater than a dozen school soccer groups — with Michigan State, Colorado State and Rutgers among the many newest — have been compelled to desert soccer exercises over the summer time after outbreaks. In the meantime, Penn State reported eight optimistic coronavirus exams amongst its athletes on Wednesday.
Circumstances have just lately been dire in most of the 11 states which can be a part of the SEC footprint — together with Florida and Mississippi, which is experiencing the greatest increase in cases per capita.