Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday he wants to see college football played this year if the health and safety of student-athletes can be guaranteed.
Kemp’s series of tweets came after the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences became the first of the Power 5 conferences to postpone the fall sports schedule, including college football. Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia Southern are among the Football Bowl Subdivision schools whose seasons are still on.
“Across the South, college football is a sacred tradition, and I want to see it played this year if we can ensure the safety of players, coaches, and staff,” Kemp wrote.
“Based on recent discussions with university leaders and sports officials, I am confident that they are putting the health and well-being of our student athletes first.
“I commend the football community for working around the clock to incorporate public health guidance and appropriate protocols as they plan for the future," he continued.
“Whether you are a @universityofga Bulldog, @GeorgiaTech Yellow Jacket, or @GeorgiaSouthern Eagle, we can all agree on our love of football and desire to see athletes on the field if their safety can be secured.”
The SEC, ACC, and the Sun Belt Conference have said they believe they can pull off a season despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement Tuesday. “I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day.”
The ACC said the conference “will continue to make decisions based on medical advice, inclusive of our Medical Advisory Group, local and state health guidelines, and do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions."
“The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administered on our 15 campuses," the statement continued. "We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well.
“We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves.”
Georgia Southern recently put Army on its 2020 schedule.