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SEC: football teams should have 53 scholarship players for games, outlines what happens if they don't

The school can choose to play without the recommended number of players, or the commissioner could approve rescheduling the game or declare it a no contest.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — There are a lot of questions as the SEC prepares for football during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we know how many players will be required to actually field a team and what happens if a team can't play because of sick or quarantined players.

To play a football game, the SEC said Friday that teams should have at least 53 scholarship players available, including seven offensive linemen (which includes one center), one quarterback and four defensive linemen.

The school can choose to play without the recommended number of players, or the commissioner could approve rescheduling the game or declare it a no contest.

The SEC also that if a school believes there are "compelling reasons" why it cannot play a game other than the minimum player requirement, they can request to have the game rescheduled or declared a no contest. The school would have to present data and outline their reasons before a decision could be made by the commissioner.

SEC teams are scheduled to begin a ten game conference schedule on September 26. There are two open dates on the schedule that could be used for rescheduled games, including one at the end of the season before the SEC Championship game on Dec. 19.

The Vols open on the road against South Carolina. You can see the schedule here.