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SEC announces additional guidelines, will not allow bands to perform on the field for now

Posted at 11:15 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 00:15:27-04

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has announced additional guidelines regarding game operations. Part of those guidelines includes the prohibition of bands performing on the field for now.

"The health of those around SEC athletics events remains in focus and, following advice of the SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, we continue to develop policies intended to provide a healthy return to competition," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "Some of these are difficult decisions but are a reality of our circumstances, and we will continue to develop and refine policies as we monitor issues related to COVID-19."

Conference leaders announced only essential personnel will be given game day access to the field and sideline. That includes:

  • Student-athletes
  • Coaches and support personnel
  • Game officials
  • Medical personnel
  • Limited institutional personnel
  • Law enforcement
  • Limited number of photographers and contracted radio/TV personnel
  • Other limited personnel essential to the execution of the game

All individuals with access to the team bench area must participate in the SEC COVID-19 testing protocol.

If fans are permitted to attend a game in-person, the host institution must provide the visiting institution a minimum of 500 tickets located in the lower level of the stadium. The visiting institution may be provided more or less upon mutual agreement of both institutions.

Bands will be restricted from performing on the field before games and at halftime. The SEC says the policy will be revised during the year based on developments around COVID-19.

At stadiums where capacities are reduced if fan attendance is permitted, visiting team bands and spirit squads are not allowed to attend games at SEC stadiums.

The SEC says institutions have the discretion on whether their band and/or spirit squad attends a conference (SEC vs. SEC) neutral site game.

On-field performances, presentations and recognitions will not be allowed. That includes sponsor and donor recognitions along with athletic department student-athlete and team recognitions.

Home institutions are required to disinfect home and visiting team spaces prior to each game. Staff must use approve disinfectants. These spaces include:

  • The locker rooms
  • Coaches' rooms
  • Training rooms
  • Sidelines
  • Coaches' booths
  • Any additional areas provided to either team

The visiting team will be allowed to further disinfect its spaces utilizing approved disinfectants after receiving approval from the home team's facility staff on the disinfectants it desires to use.

After disinfection, the spaces and equipment must be locked down until the teams are granted initial access on Thursday or Friday prior to game day. Once both teams have accessed their spaces, only team staff are allowed inside the spaces and no outside individuals, including television personnel, are allowed access.

Press box seating capacity will be limited to no more than 50% of current seating availability. All individuals in the press box must wear a face covering.

If required by national, state and/or local guidelines, the press box seating capacity can be less than 50% of the current seating available in accordance with the national, state and/or local guidelines.

Post-game press conferences will be conducted virtually.