One SEC athletic director apparently has Lincoln Riley‘s back.
Thursday, it was reported that the presidents and chancellors of the SEC will vote May 22 on whether to bring student-athletes, including football players, back to campus on June 1 or June 15. Shortly thereafter, the Oklahoma head coach tore into the possibility.
“All the talk about these schools wanting to bring players back on June 1 is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard,” Riley said. “We’ve got to be patient. We have one good shot at it. …
“It would be completely irresponsible to bring these guys in too early. We need to bring these guys in as late as we can. Every day they come in could be a day we could’ve gotten better, learned more about the virus, the [personal protection equipment] gets better, a day closer to a vaccine, the testing capabilities get better. It’s just not worth it.”
The report on the May 22 vote was born out of a virtual meeting of all 14 SEC athletic directors Wednesday. Of the 14, 13 were in favor of allowing players to return June 1. The lone dissenter? Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee. Reportedly.
From Kentucky Sports Radio:
… The vast majority of the athletic directors supported allowing players to return to campuses on June 1; however, one athletic director spoke out against it, arguing that the ban should be in place indefinitely: Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer. After discussing it with the group, Fulmer proposed the date of June 15, but many believed that was too late for players to be ready to start the season on schedule. From there, the discussion was tabled for next week.
The final decision will be up to university presidents and chancellors on May 22, but the league’s athletic directors want to present a unified front. Had Fulmer not spoken up, the assumption is the group would have given the presidents [a] unanimous recommendation to lift the restrictions to allow players to return to campuses June 1, with a vote possibly taking place earlier than May 22. We’ll find out what will happen for sure one week from today.
The NCAA confirmed Wednesday that it was extending its recruiting dead period through the end of June. That means no in-person recruiting at all, including prospects visiting campuses and coaches conducting in-home visits with recruits.