SEC commits to honor scholarships fall semester athletes who decline to participate because of COVID-19

Southeastern Conference student-athletes who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team, the SEC announced Friday.

“I’m proud LSU was at the forefront of this measure,” LSU athletics director Scott Woodward said. “Our message to our student-athletes must be clear and unequivocal – we support you and we will stand by you in your decision making during this time whether you can compete or not. Your scholarship and the education and opportunities it affords will be protected here at LSU and across the SEC.”

The action is the result of a unanimous vote of the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors following a recommendation of the Conference’s Athletics Directors.

“SEC universities are committed to full support of its student-athletes, whether or not a student-athlete decides to participate in sports during these uncertain times,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.  “SEC student-athletes have frequently expressed their desire to compete, but it is important for student-athletes and their families to know the financial support committed to them by their institutions will not be at risk because of health concerns presented by the current pandemic.”

The SEC will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine at a later date if the policy should be extended to the Spring semester of 2021 or beyond.

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