BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Southeastern Conference teams that don’t have enough available players will have to forfeit games this year.
The league released its policy on dealing with COVID-19 issues during the 2021-22 seasons in all sports on Monday.
Unlike last season, the short-handed team will have to forfeit and will take a loss in the SEC standings for regular season games.
The scheduled opponent will be credited with a win.
If neither team has enough available athletes to compete because of COVID-19, injuries or other factors, both teams will have to take a forfeit.
Commissioner Greg Sankey can declare a no contest if there are “extraordinary circumstances,” the league said.
The school that would have been able to play can submit a request for reimbursement of any direct financial loss to the SEC Executive Committee.
Sankey had indicated in July that teams would have to forfeit instead of getting windows to make up games like last season, emphasizing the need for teams to get vaccinated.
“We’ve not built in the kind of time we did last year, particularly at the end of the season, to accommodate disruption,” Sankey said at SEC media days. “And unless we’re going to do that, our teams are going to have to be fully prepared to play their season as scheduled, which is why embedded in my remarks is the vaccination motivation.”