SEC athletic directors approve normal baseball schedule
SEC Athletic Directors on Wednesday approved a proposal by conference baseball coaches to play a full 56-game schedule this year.
“We’re going to move forward with the status quo,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said in a telephone interview with UGASports. “We talked about a couple of different scenarios, moving it back a couple of weeks. We talked about four-game weekends and all kinds of different things. But we just made the decision that, as of right now, with us being an outside sport, we’ve got some time for things to hopefully get better, so we’ll keep things status quo.”
Stricklin added that should games be affected by Covid-19, plans are in place to help assure that all games get played.
The Bulldogs open their season Feb. 19 against Evansville.
“We can always shift if we have to. If we have series cancelled, if things go in a different direction, we can go to four-game weekends in the league,” Stricklin said. “But for now, we thought it was best to keep things the way they were, and we’re happy to be able to fill our schedule with 56 games.”
Stricklin said the league did discuss including an extra week—much like football—to account for any potential missed weekend, but decided not to do so.
“That was something we did discuss, and it’s something we can do if we get to a month from now, and have to cancel a non-conference weekend,” Stricklin said. “That’s something we could do, but as for right now, we have not.”
That was not the only news.
League athletic directors also agreed to increase the travel roster from 27 to 30. Stricklin said the reason was two-fold.
“We moved it to 30 just in case somebody was to test positive, or have a contact trace, something like that, to help alleviate some of those concerns when we go on the road,” Stricklin said. “But also, with the roster being bigger, it allows us to keep more guys involved. If you’re only traveling 27 and have a bigger roster, you’re going to be leaving some guys at home.
We’re just trying to keep our players active and involved in what’s going on, so it was for two reasons: for expanded rosters—in case someone goes down, there’s some contact tracing—but also to keep as many players on the roster as possible.”
GEORGIA NOTES: NCAA rules allow baseball teams to work out on the field for four hours per week prior to the start of full-fledged preseason practice on Jan. 29, and the Bulldogs will waste no time getting started. “We’ll spend an hour on the field today. We’ll have them split up in groups, and we'll do that today and Friday—be split up in groups,” Stricklin said. “On Thursday and Saturday, we’ll go more with a full team, one hour activity, and just kind of get them moving around to get them back in baseball shape.”
… Stricklin also said his team’s four non-conference weekends to start the year have now been filled. After opening with Evansville, the Bulldogs will entertain Gardner-Webb (Feb. 26-28), North Florida (March 5-7), and Lipscomb (March 12-14).
… Stricklin said his team reported no COVID-19 issues upon returning to campus for Wednesday’s start of classes.