Last week, the Southeastern Conference announced that it would be playing a conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season and now it has laid out its plan to keep student-athletes as safe and healthy as possible.
The SEC’s Task Force announced these new plans and safety protocols describing them as “minimum standards” that will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available.
Testing is at the forefront, and when it comes to football, players will receive tests at least twice per week and at least six days and three days prior to competition. One of the more important notes in the plan to return is that a negative test will not shorten a player’s return from quarantine. If a player tests positive they will be required to serve a full 14-day quarantine. The note doesn’t specifically say anything about the possibility of false positives but does strictly point out the two-week quarantine period.
Masking protocols are also presented at length stating that everyone on the field, including coaches, referees, staff, etc. will have to wear masks or gaiters. This includes all non-competing student-athletes as well.
Lastly, here's a look at the masking protocols. In short, everyone on the field — coaches, refs, photogs, etc. — will have to wear masks or neck gaiters. pic.twitter.com/uJjsAwA4Kr
— Ben Portnoy (@bportnoy15) August 7, 2020
College football is going to look a lot different in 2020, that’s for sure.
When it comes to the most impactful new protocol put in place by the SEC, the required 14-day quarantine will likely have the greatest effect on teams. Say your team’s starting quarterback tests positive on a Sunday for example, that means he would have to miss the next two weeks of games and practice. That’ll be a big blow to any program in the country.