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The Southeastern Conference announced Friday that all student-athletes who decide to not participate in sports during the 2020 fall semester because of health or safety concerns due to the coronavirus will continue to have their scholarships honored by their universities and will remain in good standing with their teams.

"SEC universities are committed to full support of its student-athletes, whether or not a student-athlete decides to participate in sports during these uncertain times," league commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. "SEC student-athletes have frequently expressed their desire to compete, but it is important for student-athletes and their families to know the financial support committed to them by their institutions will not be at risk because of health concerns presented by the current pandemic."

Sankey added that the SEC will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine if the policy should be extended to the 2021 spring semester.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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