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SEC extends suspension of all athletic activities through end of May

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The initial SEC shutdown put in place through April 15th has been extended through the end of May, the conference announced this afternoon. The Southeastern Conference paused all sports at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, canceling the remainder of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.

Baseball, softball, spring football and the rest of the spring sports quickly followed. The spring athletics calendar has been officially canceled for the year, and now all other activities have been shut down through May 31st.

The Southeastern Conference today announced that all in-person athletics activities, including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether voluntary or required, as well as camps and coaches clinics, will be suspended through at least May 31, based on public health advisories related to continuing developments associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, virtual film review that does not include physical activity is permissible. Effective April 6, activity of this nature will be expanded to four (4) hours per week consistent with an NCAA rule waiver and NCAA legislation, an increase from the previously permissible maximum of two (2) hours per week. Any such activity must be scheduled in accordance with the institution’s established Time Management Policy and must not interfere with required class time for online instruction.

Football coaches across the country have had to get creative with instruction, using virtual film review and video to meet with players. All in-person recruiting has also been put on pause, creating yet another challenge for programs this spring.

It remains to be seen if the NCAA will replace the spring period. Earlier this week, Nick Saban proposed a ‘teaching period’ that would allow programs to run non-contact practices ahead of fall camp. That’s one potential option to replace the 14 practice dates that were lost in March and April.

For now though, you can bank on at least two more months without much happening around the sports world.