Georgia’s Greg McGarity hopes SEC football decision comes soon

UGA athletic director Greg McGarity hopes the SEC can reach a decision on how to conduct the football season this week.  (Associated Press)
UGA athletic director Greg McGarity hopes the SEC can reach a decision on how to conduct the football season this week. (Associated Press)

Credit: JOHN ROARK

Credit: JOHN ROARK

As the Georgia Bulldogs stepped up their practices this week, there remains uncertainty about how long it might be before they play games, if at all.

Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity will participate in video conference calls along with the rest of the SEC’s athletic directors and Commissioner Greg Sankey on Tuesday and Friday of this week. While those are regularly scheduled meetings, it has been widely reported that they’ll make a decision on when to start the season and whether they’ll play an altered scheduled by the end of Friday’s meeting.

McGarity is not so sure.

“To say that we’d have a decision by the end of this week, I just don’t know, honestly,” he said. “I don’t know if that moves the ball any further down the field or not. I’d be afraid to say one way or another. You just never know when something might break.”

The end of July has always been tabbed as somewhat of a finish line for college football to decide what it’s going to do in the wake of an unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have agreed on plans to play a conference-only schedule. The Mercury News reported this weekend that the Pac-12 will play 10 conference games over the course of 14 weeks and delay its start until Sept. 19.

ACC presidents plan to meet Wednesday, at which time they expect to make a final decision. That league reportedly favors a conference-only, plus-one model.

Meanwhile, the SEC and Big 12, the other two conferences that make up what’s known as the Power 5, want to hold off as long as possible before making a determination. They’re both known to favor sticking to their 12-game schedules as is, if at all possible. But their actions eventually may be dictated by other leagues’ decisions.

McGarity doesn’t have a sense either way. But he hopes there is some finality soon.

“I hope it’s imminent because we need to move on,” McGarity said.

Meanwhile, the on-field work continues for the Bulldogs, as it does for other SEC teams. As of this past weekend, offseason workouts that began with strength-and-conditioning work June 8 graduated to incorporate the use of a football in the NCAA’s specially approved format.

Preseason camp, as it always has been known, remains scheduled to begin Aug. 7. Teams are allowed 29 practice dates before the first game.

For now, the first one for Georgia remains Sept. 7 vs. Virginia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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