SEC Basketball Games Must Go On Even If Teams Have Only 7 Players And 1 Coach Available

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As the college football bowl games continue to be impacted by COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the SEC has revisited its policies regarding college basketball.

Men’s and women’s basketball teams in the league will be required to play as scheduled if they have at least seven players and one coach available, and teams have the option to play with less than seven players.

“Otherwise, upon approval by the commissioner, the game will be rescheduled or declared a no contest,” the SEC office stated in a release.

“As we have done since the onset of the pandemic, we continue to evaluate our policies and procedures related to COVID-19 based on the most current information,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. “Circumstances have clearly changed since our interrupted game policy was implemented in August.”

Sankey was praised last year for not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns before the 2020 football season as other conference leaders did.

COVID-19 has impacted SEC football significantly this week as Texas A&M has exited the Gator Bowl, and Ole Miss has delayed its trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

“This updated approach is intended to support healthy, fair and equitable competition,” Sankey said.

The SEC’s release went on to say that if the institution believes there are other compelling circumstances that warrant delay, the institution may request postponement of the contest. The institution shall be required to present the reasons it believes the game should be postponed, including all relevant data, specifying the total number of players not available to participate due to isolation, quarantine and injury, to the league office as soon as practical in advance of the contest.

The final determination to postpone a contest shall be made by Sankey or a designee. If a contest is postponed, efforts will be made to reschedule. If a contest cannot be rescheduled, Sankey will cancel the contest and it will be recorded as a no contest.

According to NCAA Playing Rule 2, Section 1, Article. 1, a minimum of two game officials must be available in order to conduct a contest. If less than two officials are available, the game will be postponed in accordance with the policies above.

The SEC will review interrupted game policies for other league sports as appropriate.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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