Stoops: Kentucky has "a ways to go" to meet SEC vaccination threshold

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kentuckysportsradio.com 20 July, 2021 - 02:15pm 6 views

When is SEC Media Days?

SEC Media Days start Monday, July 19, and run through Thursday, July 22. The event will be live streamed on fuboTV. The event certainly will have its fair share of talk about the College Football Playoff expansion as well as name, image and likeness. There will also be a number of first-time SEC coaches at the podium. al.comSEC Media Days 2021 live stream: How to watch online for free, TV, time, full schedule

"That number needs to grow and grow rapidly," Sankey said. "We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of a COVID environment."

One thing the conference can control is what it will do if a team is unable to play because of coronavirus issues. Sankey said games won't be postponed and has recommended that the conference removes the 53-man roster minimum that was put in place last year.

The message to schools is "You're expected to play as scheduled," Sankey said.

"That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won't be rescheduled," he said. "And thus, to dispose of the game, the 'forfeit' word comes up at this point."

Florida coach Dan Mullen, who spoke to reporters shortly after Sankey, declined to say what percentage of his team has been vaccinated, but noted that it was a "pretty high number" and "we're getting close to the threshold." The Gators had two October games postponed but played both later in the season.

For a program to avoid regular COVID-19 testing and the requirement of wearing masks indoors, it must achieve an 85% vaccination threshold.

In his opening statement, Sankey strongly encouraged fans, coaches, players and staff to get vaccinated, saying they're widely available and "highly effective."

"And when people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the virus' spread, and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and to normal life," he said. "With six weeks to go before kickoff, now is the time to seek that full vaccination."

Sankey said the league must remain vigilant against the virus, pointing out how a number of Olympians have been removed from competition and how last week's Yankees-Red Sox game was postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests.

"It's not a political football," Sankey said of vaccinations, "and we need to do our part to support a healthy society because, as we look back, the potential absence of college sports last year caused us to think about not losing sight of the lifelong experiences, the laboratory of learning that takes place, and the educational benefits that accrue to the people who participate on our teams."

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Sankey joins call for change in college athletics oversight

Greater Milwaukee Today 20 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

HOOVER, Ala. — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey echoed the NCAA president's call for potential changes in how college athletics are governed Monday, though he did not endorse a breakaway by the five most powerful leagues.

Sankey spoke about the need for change to open SEC Media Days, less than a week after NCAA President Mark Emmert said it's time to consider decentralizing and deregulating college sports in a shifting of the traditional power structure.

Emmert's stance, Sankey said, "does speak to we're going to have to administer this differently" but not necessarily formally separating Power Five conferences from the pack.

"Yet I think people are going to be asking that question of me," Sankey said. "I think within our programs people will ask that question of me. I think nationally people will ask that question of me. But it doesn't predict that kind of outcome at this point."

The powerhouse SEC and the rest of the college football are preparing for a fall season amid one of the most tumultuous periods in college sports. Aside from the heavy impacts of the pandemic, the landscape has clearly changed with a Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA last month in an antitrust case related to caps on education-related compensation.

And as of this month, athletes no longer have to worry about many NCAA, school and conference rules that had prohibited them from earning money off their fame for things such as online endorsements, sponsorship deals and personal appearances. Athletes have begun signing deals big and small to profit off so-called name, image and likeness deals from coast to coast, in some cases protected by state laws barring the NCAA from interfering.

Before his session here, Florida coach Dan Mullen met with his team Monday on NIL, saying it was great for players but an issue that needs education for them and coaches alike.

"It's a learning curve, obviously," Mullen said. "You're looking at the state law that we have in Florida, and any time you're adapting to a new law within the state and a new law that directly affected our football program, there's a big learning curve."

Schools in other states have been instructed to build their own NIL guidelines. Sankey said "there's not a high level of oversight" within state legislation.

"Yeah, there are businesses that are well intentioned that will support young people, but outside our league at different levels, I've heard of young people walking into compliance offices with contracts that say pay so-and-so $5,000," the SEC commissioner said. "They'll create your brand and your website, or $10,000, or $15,000. That's not this one-sided flow of money that everyone expects. So how do we oversee this properly?"

That may require federal legislation from Congress, in some regards.

"I don't know if we can resolve every one of (the issues) through federal legislation, nor, given the level of care, do I think every element needs to be regulated," Sankey said. "I do think every element needs to be understood."

Sankey said he was skeptical that just getting voices from every league will lead to a solution, considering the huge differences in situations financially and competitively. He also isn't convinced that more aggressive punishment for NCAA rules violation is the solution, but he did call for more timely resolutions in enforcement cases.

"I think some high-level thought focused on specific elements is at the core of this, and we can add, but we're not going to solve every problem and be able to legislate college athletics programs through the NCAA manual," he said. "We can govern some aspects, but 450 pages seems less relevant today than it ever has before."

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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Sankey a leader that college football needs

Arkansas Online 20 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

Today he wears more hats than the Kentucky Derby.

Lately he's been standing up to the NCAA and Congress about athletes' rights.

On Monday, he spoke about the SEC lacking a minority head coach in football. He mentioned there had been eight new coaches hired in the past two years, and that it was an institutional issue, but one the conference is watching.

His theme was the same as it was in 2005 when he quoted a Bob Dylan song about times are changing.

Sankey recently signed the SEC up with Disney for a contract that starts in 2024 and will pay half a billion dollars to the league and its members.

He didn't mention this, but most people know it. Sankey is the man who saved college football in 2020.

While conferences were bailing out, he advocated for patience. Listen to the medical experts.

Finally he got all the data and made the decision.

The SEC would play 10 conference-only games and start three weeks late.

Suddenly players, parents and even some presidents in the Big Ten were mad their seasons had been canceled. The Pac-12 got in motion, and part of that was to eventually get rid of its commissioner.

The Big 12 and ACC were ready, almost like they had been waiting to see what Sankey decided.

There were some postponements, a few cancellations and very few bowls, but the season that almost wasn't became a reality. And the top team, Alabama, won the national championship.

Sankey was quick to point out the fight with covid-19 is not over.

With determined clarity he said: "Right now, 43% of our football teams have reached the 80% threshold for in-roster vaccination. That number needs to grow and grow rapidly.

"Let me be clear to our fans, to our coaches, to our staff members and to our student-athletes. Covid-19 vaccines are widely available. They've proven to be highly effective. And when people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the spread of the virus and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and life."

Sankey stared the covid virus in the face a year ago and refused to lose.

His leadership thrust him into a new role in college athletics. One he may not relish but will endure with a stiff upper lip.

He's publicly asked why the questions surrounding the basketball programs investigated in 2017 have gone unanswered.

He's emphatically stated it is time for change in the NCAA's way of doing things, pointing out two years ago the NCAA wasn't concerned with name, likeness and image, but as soon as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of NIL, the governing body was all for it.

He's led talks about why schools with $170 million budgets live by the same financial rules of a school with an $8 million budget. He feels that is not in the best interest of athletes.

He's an advocate for baseball, softball, soccer and other sports having a fair share of scholarships.

He finished off his time at the podium with questions, and his last answer was about the NCAA's ability "to legislate college athletics programs though the NCAA manual. We can govern some aspects, but 450 pages seems less relevant today than it ever has before."

Sankey isn't the new sheriff in town, but maybe he should be.

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Alabama Newscenter — SEC Commissioner Warns of Possible COVID Forfeits This Football Season

alabamawx.com 20 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

Greg Sankey didn’t pull any punches. The Southeastern Conference commissioner, who helped steer college football through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago, sent a message Monday that should resonate from Columbia, South Carolina, to Columbia, Missouri, and beyond.

“We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of the COVID environment,” Sankey said, “and that finds us preparing to return towards normal this fall, but we see realities around us.”

As Sankey explained during his opening address at SEC Media Days 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, one reality that could hit SEC football teams in the face this fall: forfeits.

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Parrish Alford: Sankey sees vaccine as best weapon in quest for normalcy

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal 20 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

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A video of the new Mississippi State flag is displayed in the background as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to reporters on Monday.

A video of the new Mississippi State flag is displayed in the background as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to reporters on Monday.

The message from Greg Sankey was clear – get the vaccine.

Football games, if at all possible, will be played on time this season.

A year ago the mission was to play COVID-19 football through any possible means.

A testing system was put in place.

A minimum of 53 scholarship players was set to give teams flexibility to deal with outbreaks.

Sometimes a school chose to play even though it was below that threshold, as Mississippi State did in a 31-24 loss at then-No. 9 Georgia.

Those mitigation efforts created an ebb and flow to the season that we’d not seen before – with rumors of roster issues only to see games played then ultimately some games not being played.

Ole Miss was one of four teams that did not, but most teams managed to complete the 10-game SEC schedule.

Getting there required creative scheduling with the strange look of games being played the first three weeks of December.

Three SEC games were played the same day as the conference championship game including Ole Miss-LSU and Missouri-Mississippi State.

This year that end-of-season make-up time won’t be available.

Coaches are expected to do all they can to have their teams healthy and ready to play.

In his address to kick off SEC Media Days Monday the league’s commissioner said he’s encouraged his membership to do away with roster minimums.

“The word forfeit comes up at this point. That’s not a policy,” Sankey said.

Right now it isn’t. A game being declared a “no contest” was policy last year, and while that doesn’t go against a coach’s won-loss record, there’s no way to tell how missing a game will break in the final standings which are based on win percentage. If you miss a game and go 11-0 you better hope somebody beats Alabama.

The get-healthy message isn’t about ankles and knees.

The Power Five conferences last year pushed ahead and played football amid the challenges of COVID-19, some better than others.

Getting the season in was a noteworthy achievement. Now, the virus hasn’t vanished, and the keepers of the game are working for the best version of normal they can create.

Unlike last year the Labor Day weekend start date is not in jeopardy, but there’s also recognition of COVID case numbers and the reactions of states to those.

As 2020 played out the league showed an ability to “manage” the season. It hopes to exert more control this time.

Per Sankey, six of 14 SEC football teams have vaccination rates at or above 80 percent.

Coaches questioned Monday did not provide specific vaccine numbers.

“It’s a personal choice,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said.

Sankey acknowledges the vaccines aren’t perfect but sees them as the most effective tool in the quest for normalcy.

“We all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the spread and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and normal life,” he said.

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SEC Commissioner: Forfeits Are Possible if Teams Can't Play Because of COVID

Dawg Post 20 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

HOOVER, AL - SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday that it is possible that SEC will have to forfeit contests if their teams that can’t play due to COIVD. 

The news comes after commissioners of other conferences have signaled that possibility in their leagues. 

“In my view that’s a possibility - the forfeit word,” Sankey said in response to Dawg Post’s question regarding the matter. “We’ve not built in rescheduling room. If you go back to last year and understand the decisions we made… we had roster minimums. If a team fell below 53 scholarship players in total they could request not playing and have a contest rescheduled - or at certain key positions.”

“I think those should go away right now,” Sankey continued. “If we are able to play depending a bit on what happens with the public health reality - if those go away then the responsibility it to show up and play as scheduled. And if you can that game has to be disposed of if you will. And that’s where the forfeiture comes up because we don’t have the space for rescheduling. We have to accommodate in our standings. And we have to say directly: Get healthy. Be healthily. Stay healthy throughout the year.”

A year ago the SEC spaced in weekends to give the league the ability to reschedule games if a COVID outbreak prevented a member institution from playing on a given weekend. This year, however, Sankey said schedules have not had built in buffers from outbreaks on teams. He also reiterated that coaches and schools can’t force individuals to take a COVID vaccine shot. 

“We have state laws and executive orders preventing the word ‘requirement’ from being part of our reality,” Sankey said. “What I am communicating is a clear message: being healthy is central to playing without disruption. If we have disruption the opportunity to not have rescheduling accommodated is the reality. We just haven’t built it in. With all of the work that people have done to prepare to play - the COVID vaccine becomes a part of that preparation to help avoid the contract tracing and potential shutdown.”

SEC commissioner: Conference won’t reschedule games because of COVID-19

WSB Radio 20 July, 2021 - 11:48am

In his remarks during the SEC Media Days meeting, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced that six of the SEC’s 14 football teams have reached an 80% mark for team vaccinations, according to ESPN.

“That number needs to grow and grow rapidly,” Sankey said. “We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of a COVID environment.”

Sankey did not name the six teams that had reached the vaccination goal, The Associated Press reported. The conference already said that it will not require players to be vaccinated to participate.

For an SEC program to avoid regular COVID-19 testing and being required to wear masks while indoors, it must achieve an 85% vaccination threshold.

Sankey suggested that if teams cannot play their games because of COVID-19 issues, they would have to forfeit the game.

“You’re expected to play as scheduled,” Sankey said. “That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won’t be rescheduled.

“And thus, to dispose of the game, the ‘forfeit’ word comes up at this point.”

Sankey also encouraged fans, coaches, players and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

“And when people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the virus’ spread, and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and to normal life,” he said.

“With six weeks to go before kickoff, now is the time to seek that full vaccination.”

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Sanky joins a call for a change in college track and field coach - Illinois News Today

Illinois News 19 July, 2021 - 03:00pm

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to reporters at NCAA College Football Southeastern Conference Media Day on Monday, July 19, 2021 in Hoover, Alabama (AP Photo / Butch Dill)

Hoover, Alabama (AP) — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey reiterated NCAA president’s call on Monday to change the way college athletics governs, but leaves the five most powerful leagues Did not support.

Sankey made changes to open SEC Media Days less than a week after NCAA President Mark Emmert said it was time to consider decentralization and deregulation of college sports in a traditional power structure shift. I talked about the need for.

Emart’s stance “says that this needs to be managed differently,” Sanky said, but it doesn’t necessarily officially separate the Power Five conference from the pack.

“Still, I think people will ask me that question,” Sanky said. “In our program, I think people will ask me that question. I think they will ask that question nationwide, but at this point we do not anticipate such an outcome. “

The powerful SEC and other college football are preparing for the fall season, one of the most turbulent times in college sports. Aside from the serious consequences of the pandemic, the situation has clearly changed when the Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA last month in an antitrust proceeding related to an education-related compensation cap.

And as of this month, athletes no longer have to worry about many NCAA, school, and conference rules that prohibited them from making money from fame through online endorsements, sponsorship deals, personal appearances, and more. .. Athletes have begun signing big and small deals to profit from the so-called coast-to-coast trade in names, images and portraits. It may also be protected by state law that prohibits the NCAA from interfering.

Prior to the session here, Florida coach Donyell Malen met with his team at NIL on Monday and said it was great for the players but a problem that both players and coaches need to be educated. ..

“It’s clearly a learning curve,” Mullen said. “You are looking at the state laws we have in Florida, and whenever you are adapting to new laws in the state and new laws that have directly influenced our football program, great learning There is a curve. “

Schools in other states are instructed to develop their own NIL guidelines. Sankey said that within state law, “there is no high degree of surveillance.”

“Yes, there are businesses intended to support young people, but outside of our league, I’ve heard that at various levels, young people are stepping into compliance offices with contracts to pay $ 5,000. “The SEC said. The commissioner said. “They create your brand and your website, or $ 10,000, or $ 15,000. That’s not the one-sided flow of money that everyone expects. So how can you monitor this properly? Is it? “

It may require federal law from Congress in several respects.

“I don’t know if federal law can solve everything (in question), and given the level of care, I don’t think we need to regulate every element,” Sankey said. .. “I think I need to understand all the elements.”

Mr. Sanky said he was skeptical that a solution could be obtained simply by speaking out from all leagues, given the huge financial and competitive differences. He was also not convinced that more aggressive punishment for NCAA rule violations was the solution, but sought a more timely solution in the enforcement case.

“Several high-level ideas focused on specific elements are at the heart of this and can be added, but through the NCAA manual you can solve all problems and legislate a college athletics program. That’s not the case, “he said. .. “We can manage several aspects, but page 450 seems to be less relevant than ever.”

Other AP College Football: https: //apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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