Alabama, Ole Miss fill UK’s 10-game schedule

Alabama%2C+Ole+Miss+fill+UK%27s+10-game+schedule

By Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON (KT) — The Southeastern Conference announced the remainder of the conference football schedule Friday and Kentucky will make a visit to Alabama and play host to Ole Miss as part of a 10-game schedule this season.

The season will begin on Sept. 26 and teams will play 10 games in a 11-week period through Dec. 5.

“The two SEC announcements today – the medical protocols and the addition of two football opponents – help us continue planning for competition this fall,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our student-athletes, coaches and staffs are dealing with unique challenges. We appreciate Commissioner (Greg) Sankey, the SEC Office and the SEC Medical Task Force for their dedication and leadership as we take the next steps in this process.”

Kentucky had already scheduled non-divisional foes Mississippi State and Auburn this season. The dates and times for the revised schedule will be announced at a later date.

Mark Stoops and his squad will play home games against Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. The road games include contests at Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee.

“We made every effort to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the existing eight Conference games that had already been scheduled for 2020,” Sankey said. “This schedule is a one-year anomaly that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the impact of COVID-19.”

Alabama is 37-2-1 overall against the Wildcats and is 21-0 when games are played in Tuscaloosa. Kentucky dropped a 34-6 setback to the Crimson Tide in 2016 and has lost six straight to Alabama. The Wildcats defeated Alabama 40-34 in overtime in 1997, the team’s first win over the Crimson Tide since 1922 and ending a 14-game winning streak.

 

Home games

• Georgia

• Mississippi State

• South Carolina

• Vanderbilt

• Ole Miss

Road games

• Alabama

• Auburn

• Florida

• Missouri

• Tennessee

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — The Southeastern Conference laid out plans for the upcoming football season Friday and players will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing at last twice per week under the protocols released by the league.

Coaches will be required to wear masks on the sideline under the new guidelines recommended by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.

“Our Medical Task Force is producing an effective strategy for testing and monitoring, which complements the vigilant day-to-day efforts of our campuses to establish and maintain healthy environments in which our student-athletes can train and compete,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “Our health experts have guided us though each stage of preparation for the safe return of activity and, together with the medical staffs embedded within our athletics programs, we will continue to monitor developments around the virus and evolve our plan to meet the health needs of our student-athletes.”

Kentucky and other universities in the conference will be required to designate a COVID-19 protocol oversight officer, responsible for education and ensuring compliance. The league also announced that athletes who choose not to play this fall because of health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus will have their scholarships honored by the university and will remain in “good standing.”


TESTING

  • The SEC will coordinate centralized testing through a third-party provider to ensure consistency in surveillance and pre-competition testing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the current standard testing method for the COVID-19 virus. Alternative testing methods may be considered if sufficient data develops to support those methods.
  • Football student-athletes and others in direct contact with the program will receive a PCR surveillance test at least twice weekly during competition, typically six days and three days prior to competition. The Task Force recommends exploring alternative testing methods that will accommodate a third test, in addition to the two required PCR tests, that will provide for the reliability and rapid response necessary for diagnostic testing in a timeframe closer to competition.
  • Volleyball and soccer, student-athletes and others in direct contact with the program will receive a PCR surveillance test at least twice weekly during competition, with one to occur three days prior to the first competition of the week.
  • Cross country, student-athletes and others in direct contact with the program will receive a PCR surveillance test at least once per week during competition, with that test to occur three days prior to each competition.

 

MASKING

 

  • Football, volleyball and soccer, all coaches, staff and non-competing personnel will be required to wear face coverings on the sideline and physical distancing will be employed to the extent possible.
  • Cross country student-athletes are required to wear a face covering at the starting line, which may be removed when proper distancing has been achieved. Coaches and staff associated with cross country competition are expected to utilize social distancing to the extent possible and will be required to wear a face covering during pre- and post-competition.