SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Sends Message to Big Ten and Pac-12

The wave had been building for a few days, but it crested today. The Big Ten and Pac-12 appear poised to cancel football season. There was a lot of concern or hope — depending on how you read these things — that their doing so would pressure the SEC, Big 12, and ACC into doing the same. Initial reports from Dan Patrick and the Detroit Free Press indicated Big Ten presidents voted 12-2 to cancel the season. Now Pete Thamel is saying not so fast. A wave of players, coaches, administrators, and politicians have been pushing back, saying they want to play.

Now, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey tweeted a statement that pushes back on the idea of canceling the season, at least in the immediate term:

Sankey is telling the truth here. It’s notable that his conference of football zealots postponed their season to September 26th as the Big Ten released an initial schedule with no delays (but some wiggle room for them). Then just a couple days go by before they want to cancel entirely. Sankey is honest in saying that no one knows whether they CAN get a season in this Fall. He’s also right that it’s too soon to declare that they CAN’T.

Let’s see if the Big Ten and Pac-12 forge ahead with formally canceling football season, if it’s not assured their Power Five counterparts will do the same.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. It is telling that the SEC is fighting to play, whereas the Big 10 is fighting not to play. If there is any question about the institutional commitment to football, this should settle all doubt. In the near future, when recruits flood into the SEC at an even faster rate, and these school further dominate the national landscape, I will come back strong at any fans bitching about some “SEC bias” in the media.

  2. Hey Ryan,
    Thing is…SEC’s not playing outside their conference this year. What he says has no real impact on the best and the brightest running the BIGs and the PAC (and the ACC as yet undecided).
    On top of that, Greg Sankey wants to insure he has a job when this craziness is all over. Is he gonna stick his neck out as the only conference playing CFB? It’s lonely at the top, as they say.

    • I realize the BIG 12 and the ACC are still on board with playing, but the ACC said “assuming the health guidelines allow”. Reasonable to say, but maybe a little bit wiggly.
      On the flip side…talk about a FUBAR alert if everybody else – including the PAC – plays and the BIG 10 is left hanging out to dry? Whoooeeee!

  3. As someone replied to Sankey on Twitter, they’ve played plenty of football seasons in the “Covid-19 Environment” except that it was just called “flu season” back then.

    I really don’t understand why people are acting like this is any different. All of the risk is for geriatric persons who aren’t going to be around a college football team, anyway.

    The only explanation that makes any sense is that it’s all 2020 media and blue politician hype.

  4. As an ACC fan, many of us are not in love with the idea of BC, Pitt and Syracuse in our conference. Maybe this is the first step towards a massive shift in realignment, putting teams together regionally makes far more sense. But for a while now the only thing that’s mattered is conquering new TV markets.

    Many of us NC guys grew up with an ACC tournament that was the best 48 hours of the entire year, the TV’s were rolled in just before noon in every elementary, middle and high school classroom in the State and you spent hours arguing with and placing harmless bets with your friends. Now the tournament is a week long and unwatchable, held in places like Brooklyn.

  5. I believe there are three types of people trying to kill college football right now. Some have a big bullhorn in media or social media.
    1) the pantywaist “corona-bro’s” as Clay calls them who are terrified of living and have to be proven “right” on the Covid.
    2) coastal elites who hate “flyover” country and see football as barbaric entertainment for the “unwashed masses”.
    3) the Marxists who want to see everything representative of American culture destroyed

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