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SEC Media Days: Greg Sankey talks NIL, potential COVID impact on SEC teams

 Blake Lovell   in Football


Here are notes from SEC Media Days on Monday, which featured SEC commissioner Greg Sankey discussing a variety of topics.

On potential game postponements and whether games will be rescheduled if teams can't meet the minimum roster requirements: "We still have roster minimums that exist, just like last year. What I've identified for consideration among our membership is we remove those roster minimums and you're expected to play as scheduled. 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. That's not a policy, and what you see are bookends now for decision-making. We've not built in the kind of time we did last year, particularly at the end of the season, to accommodate disruption. And unless we're going to do that, our teams are going to have to be fully prepared to play their season as scheduled, which is why I embedded in my remarks the vaccination motivation."

On the SEC's new hiring initiative for "historically underrepresented" groups: "In early June, our presidents and chancellors approved a new initiative to establish an expectation for athletics department hiring processes around key leadership roles -- athletic directors, senior administrators, and head coaches. And while employment decisions are made, not by the conference office, but by our campuses and their athletics departments, this change will bring a collaborative expectation where, when these openings appear, we'll be in communication, sharing information about potentially viable candidates from historically underrepresented groups. To make certain our member institutions are fulfilling expectations under this new policy, each year will be expected to write a written communication to the commissioner about their efforts to include diverse candidates in their finalists pool."

On NIL and its impact on college athletics: "The NCAA's temporary rules governing name, image, and likeness were a necessary reality, but those interim policies are no substitute for a uniform national standard. While we all will benefit from a standard that supports the interests of student-athletes while preventing exploitative practices with policies that can be understood and administered by universities and colleges at every level, while also providing prospective student-athletes with clarity as they are recruited nationally across state lines and have to understand the different names, image, and likeness laws. Because state laws are either inconsistent or nonexistent, the NCAA rules can no longer resolve key issues. We need a federal solution. We understand it's difficult to gather the support for such federal legislation. However, congressional action is necessary if we're to provide every student a clear, consistent, and fair opportunity to benefit from their name, image, and likeness."