LEXINGTON, (LEX 18) — According to Sports Illustrated, the SEC will have a 10-game conference-only schedule for the 2020 season.
The season is also scheduled to begin on September 26 and the SEC Championship is scheduled for December 19.
"This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities."
The rescheduled start to the season will allow the SEC to continue to monitor health trends across its 11-state footprint, as well as monitor developments in technology around mitigation and treatment of the virus, including:
- Trends in public health indicators throughout the SEC's 11-state footprint, including positive cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and recovery statistics
- State, local and campus heath directives, including restrictions on gatherings, isolation requirements for travelers, and other health and travel restrictions
- Continued development of risk mitigation strategies
- Continued advancement in COVID-19 testing reliability and availability
- Continued evolution of time-based strategies for resuming activities after positive test results, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine requirements
- Observation of successes and challenges presented by return to competition in other sports
A revised schedule for the 2020 SEC football season will be announced at a later date following approval by the Conference's athletics directors.
“I’m glad there is a plan in place so we can move forward with preparations for the season," said Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops. "I understand and support the decision to begin on September 26. Everyone would like to play a full schedule, including our rivalry game with Louisville, but this timing and format gives us our best opportunity to adjust to these unique circumstances.”
This means the Governor's Cup between Kentucky and Louisville will not take place for the first time since 1993.