SEC Postpones Start of Volleyball, Soccer & Cross Country Amid Pandemic

The Southeastern Conference has postponed the start dates for competition in three fall sports, though football is not yet included, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SEC will not allow competition until early September or later in volleyball, soccer and cross country. The conference says it will allow more time to prepare for a safe return to sports, according to FOX Sports. But football – a major revenue-driver and an extremely popular spectator sport in the SEC – has not yet had any schedule adjustments.

Major conferences across the country have begun making changes to their fall sports seasons in response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have both limited fall sports to conference matchups only. That serves a very similar purpose to the new SEC ruling, which will mostly cut out early non-conference matchups scheduled for August.

The ACC has also delayed the start of fall sports to at least September. That leaves the Big 12 as the only Power-5 conference without a schedule adjustment yet.

Here’s a look at a few of the other major conferences that have adjusted athletics schedules:

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I remember thinking back at the end of February/start of March that SwimSwam was ridiculous for putting a “Coronavirus” link on their homepage. I don’t think I could’ve been more wrong


I think it was even earlier than that actually. Probably mid-February? But that describes me too 100%. When I first heard about the coronavirus I heard someone say “things might be cancelled if this coronavirus stuff gets serious” and I was like “no I don’t think it will be that bad”

ct swim fan

If they think these 3 sports are dangerous, football for sure should be on the list. Cross Country is about the least risky sport there is. Wonder why that was included.

You ever been to a cross country race?

The races maybe could be reformatted to reduce risk, but there is definitely crowding as traditionally organized. Here’s the NCAA Men’s 2017 championship race:

ct swim fan

Traditionally, I guess so, but it is easy to socially distance the runners on the start. It won’t look the same, but it is very doable with minimum risk. It is listed on the least riskiest sports in every list that I have seen. Leaving football off the list while including these 3 is disingenuous at best and just an outright lie at worst.


The ADs of the SEC schools are in Birmingham this week hashing out the safest course of action for all. Most of these sports leaders are truly outstanding people who are working hard to examine the many questions we all have about safety and the start up of collegiate athletics. Certainly they have conferred with the CDC and other health organizations and are well aware of potential liabilities. It will be very interesting to see what they decide about the football season. I for one believe they will choose wisely and have great confidence in their ultimate decision.

Ol' Longhorn

Actually they’re hashing out the balancing act between “safest course of action for all,” desperately needed revenue, and the pressures of boosters and college town businesses who own them. Because let’s face it, all they’re really concerned with is the football season. I can guarantee you they won’t spend two seconds on whether swimming should be fall or spring or not at all. They may be outstanding people, but they serve many masters, and those masters are interested in dollars and tailgating, and many an “outstanding” person has caved to political pressure.


Well said.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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