The SEC postponing the start of the season to three fall sports leads our July 15, 2020 Tennessee Vols news.
Coronavirus news continues to dominate the headlines, and Tennessee Vols fans are getting more and more curious as to how the college football season will play out. Well, there was other news on Tuesday that gave us a hint of what was to come.
Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with the Southeastern Conference making a decision with respect to three specific fall sports that were set to begin their seasons before football. This is major news and has to be addressed.
Beyond that, Rick Barnes makes more news as he is part of a new initiative that we’ll discuss. Other news deals with specific recognition of student-athletes at UT, from an academic and athletics perspective. We’ll cover all of this, but we start with the league news.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC has taken its first steps in terms of actual sports seasons in the 2020-2021 academic school year. The official start to the volleyball, soccer and cross country seasons in the league have been postponed through at least Aug. 31.
SEC institutions will continue to follow the guidance of the Conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Advisory Task Force and the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines as student-athletes are engaged in preseason preparation for a return to competition.
Any rescheduling of non-conference contests impacted by the postponed start of the fall seasons in volleyball, soccer and cross country will be determined by each school.
Rick Barnes part of Minority Leadership Initiative – Grant Ramey, GoVols247
On Monday, Tennessee Vols men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes joined Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari and a host of other coaches to discuss the launch of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative. Co-chaired by Calipari and Harvard Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker, the initiative is a coach-led effort to create employment opportunities for minority candidates.
West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, South Carolina’s Frank Martin and Pittsburgh’s Jeff Capel were on the call with Barnes and Calipari. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin and Gonzaga’s Mark Few were also part of the show, among others.
“When I think of (Calipari) and Huggs,” Barnes said, “I think back in the ’70s when we really broke into this. We’ve really seen a lot of change with our staffs. I mean, we’ve been able to see staffs change in college athletics.”
Helped by every single newcomer in the men’s basketball program last year earning the honor, the Tennessee Vols set a school record with 88 student-athletes on the 2019-20 First-Year Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. That’s 29 more than the 2018-2019 academic year, and it makes for 315 combined SEC Academic Honor Roll athletes on Rocky Top.
That sum of 315, which equates to 57 percent of student-athletes being honored during the past academic year, is the highest number ever recorded at UT, according to the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center. It also marks the fifth-consecutive year that Tennessee has seen an increased total number of student-athletes on SEC Honor Rolls.
UT Volleyball’s Alyssa Andreno and Swimming and Diving’s Stanzi Mosley, both of whom completed their senior seasons this past year, are nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. They are among 259 national nominees for the award.
Conference offices will select up to two nominees each from their pool of member school nominees. All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be considered by a selection committee. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.