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Could Big 12 Join SEC in Having College Sports Version of COVID-19 Law and Order

STILLWATER — The college football season had some bumps at the start, but nothing like we’ve seen the past week and in the SEC, where their motto is “It just means more” they are dealing with it as if that motto is true during a pandemic. Now SEC schools will give up conference revenue for not being diligent enough in fighting the coronavirus and potential outbreaks or spikes. 

Pokes Report checked with two Big 12 Conference officials and received a response as to whether the Big 12 would handle issues in a similar fashion. The on individual said they had not heard of anything like that in the Big 12. The conference has worked so much together, both in administration, medical staffs at each school, and coaching staffs to play contests despite COVID-19. There has never been mention of punishment for what might be seen as carelessness or lack of effort.

Oklahoma State has been one of the teams in the conference with an excellent record concerning COVID-19. Iowa State has also done really well. Those two teams are scheduled to play next on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. inside Boone Pickens Stadium. Virtually every other team in the Big 12 has either had to postpone of cancel a game or play one with significant players in quarantine. 

According to the ESPN story early Thursday afternoon multiple SEC schools will be losing revenue as the conference will deduct it from their annual payouts for not adhering to proper COVID-19 protocols. ESPN reported that source with knowledge of the action informed them of the action.

A memo was sent out last week by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey that schools that do not follow the proper protocols to the letter will have revenue distribution cut by $100,000 for each week they are non compliant in the eyes of the conference. 

Multiple SEC schools will have revenue from the conference deducted as a result of not following proper COVID-19 protocols, sources told ESPN.

According to a memo sent by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey last week, schools will have their conference revenue distribution cut by $100,000 for each week that they do not follow protocols. ESPN obtained the memo that also said suspensions would be considered for school staff and athletes who were considered as failing to comply with the protocols. 

According to ESPN, part of the memo that was underlined and bolded for emphasis, Sankey wrote, “Do not relax — and do not let those around you relax — because of a few weeks of success.”

Just in the last several days two SEC games have been postponed because of positive COVID tests as Vanderbilt issues caused postponement of their game with Missouri and Florida reported 19 positive COVID-19 tests midweek and with contact tracing added, athletic director Scott Stricklin said the Gators would not have enough scholarship players to meet the minimum un order to host LSU on Saturday. On top of the two games being postponed, Alabama head coach and college football royalty Nick Saban and the schools’ athletic director Greg Byrne both test positive for COVID-19.

Back on Sunday evening Oklahoma State lost their game scheduled for this Saturday. The Cowboys were going to play at Baylor in a game that was slated for the 6:30 p.m. primetime television slot on ABC. That is the kind of exposure and promotion that is supreme in college football, but Baylor had 28 players and 14 staff members come back from a road trip to West Virginia and test positive for COVID-19.

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Oklahoma State at Baylor was going to be on primetime ABC.Pat Kinnison – Pokes Report chief photographer

“Nothing surprised them anymore and nothing surprises the staff,” coach Gundy said of the Baylor game getting shut down. “The bounce back from the players in the Tulsa week was considerably more than it was this week. When it happened for the Tulsa game, I could kind of see some emotions in players like ‘really?’ I didn’t feel any of that this week because I just think that nothing surprises them at this point.”

The hits just keep on coming as Thursday in the American Athletic Conference No. 8 Cincinnati informed Tulsa that they had an outbreak and would have to postpone coming to Tulsa to play the Golden Hurricane (1-1). Tulsa still has yet to play a home game as they lost on the road to current No. 7 Oklahoma State 16-7 and then defeated then No. 11 Central Florida on the road 34-26. 

Tulsa actually pushed their game back with Oklahoma State because of COVID-19 issues and Arkansas State cancelled a game on Sept. 26 before this latest postponement by Cincinnati. The Bearcats will now plan on playing at Tulsa on Dec. 5.

“We are disappointed we will be unable to play Tulsa Saturday,” Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham said in a statement. “We knew this season was going to require a lot of patience and flexibility and disruptions were likely to happen. The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff is always our primary focus and we appreciated the outstanding work and continued dedicated of our medical staff throughout the pandemic.”

The game would have been quite interesting to the college football community as many followers are trying to gauge just how good Tulsa is this season.

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