Benko: “Everything’s still on track” for a fall football season

Players' health and safety still a paramount concern

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Kaitlin Sells

The Georgia Southern football team bounced back against Maine on Saturday with a 26-18 victory at home.

Andy Cole, Editor-in-Chief

STATESBORO — Athletics Director Jared Benko confirmed that, as of Tuesday, the Sunbelt conference, including Georgia Southern, is prepared for a fall football season.

“Everything’s still on track for return to play this fall,” said Benko.

Benko, who spoke with The George-Anne Tuesday over the phone, said while they are preparing for a season, student athlete’s health is their number one priority. 

“Everything that goes into the decision making process is going to be with the student athletes in mind,” said Benko. “I think our student athletes are getting the best possible care in their various facilities based on the protocols.”

On Tuesday, two power five conferences, the Big Ten and the Pac 12, postponed their fall sports, including football. The Big Ten is eyeing a first-of-its-kind spring football season, according to ESPN

One major concern for athletic directors across the country is the loss of revenue should conferences cancel their football season. Benko acknowledges that, but says that the player’s health is paramount. 

“Are there going to be financial implications? Of course. You’d have to be obtuse to not connect the dots,” said Benko. “Our job as administrators… is to protect our student athletes. That drives our decision making.”

While it is the plan to kick off this fall, Benko added, “I can’t sit here and tell you there won’t be any more changes in college athletics, and college football specifically… that’s the world we live in right now.”