Skip to main content

SEC team down to 56 active players today after COVID-19 absences

South Carolina is facing Vanderbilt today in Nashville, with both Southeastern Conference teams seeking their first win on the season and battling rain stemming from Hurricane Delta.

The Commodores are likewise fielding an extremely diminished roster due to COVID-19 protocols.

Per a staff member at the game in Nashville, Vanderbilt was going to be missing close to “20-plus guys today for coronavirus.” South Carolina also was expected to miss multiple members of its two-deep for family reasons.

The Athletic's Joe Rexrode said the Commodores had approximately 56 scholarship players available in the game against the Gamecocks.

Vanderbilt's number of available players for the game is close to the threshold established by the SEC's COVID-19 task force for this pandemic season.

The league last month announced that all teams must have a minimum of 53 scholarship players available and also presented a positional breakdown of minimum numbers within that 53-man roster, which is the same size of an active NFL roster:

“To play a football game, the SEC has established minimum thresholds of at least 53 scholarship players available to participate,” the league said in its late-September release, a week before the league began its 10-game schedule, “and the following minimum number of position scholarship players available to begin a game: seven (7) offensive linemen (which includes one center), one (1) quarterback and four (4) defensive linemen.”

Vanderbilt was close to being able to request the game be postponed, had it chosen to do so, per the SEC's roster rules for this season.

“The impacted institution has the option to play the game with fewer than the 53 scholarship players or fewer than the minimum number of position players listed above if it elects to do so. Otherwise, upon approval by the Commissioner, the game would be rescheduled or declared a no contest,” the league's release said.

“In addition, should an institution determine there are compelling reasons why it cannot begin a contest regardless of the scholarship and position minimums above, the institution may request to have the game rescheduled or, if the game cannot be rescheduled, for the game to be considered a no contest by presenting data (including total number of players not available to participate) outlining reasons why the game should not be played as scheduled. The final decision to reschedule or declare the game a no contest is vested only with the Commissioner.”