Atlanta — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey says the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal law barring gambling on sports could cause the league to require schools to issue weekly reports that list the status of injured or ineligible players.
Speaking to reporters Monday at the start of the league’s annual media gathering, Sankey stressed that gambling’s potential effect on games is one of the most important issues facing the league, but the SEC is unlikely to require weekly reports in 2018.
Sports books often use information on injured or ineligible players to hedge the line.
“FERPA and HIPAA requirements, academic suspensions, other team or athletics department-imposed suspensions and NCAA eligibility issues make something more like an availability report relevant for discussion,” Sankey said Monday. “I do not believe this has to happen before the 2018 season, either on the part of this conference or the national level.
“I expect, however, the change in sports gambling could be and will be likely the impetus for the creation of such reports in our future.”
The Supreme Court ruling in May states that states wanting to take advantage of the ruling can pass legislation to allow sports books to open. Mississippi is the only SEC state currently that will allow sports books to begin taking bets at its 28 licensed casinos — a process that could begin this month. Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and South Carolina have considered legalizing sports books.
Sankey said the SEC has spoken since 2011 with the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and PGA offices to learn how other leagues are monitoring the issue. The SEC has prioritized its approach to legalized gambling, it will not act hastily.
Heat killed Maryland OL
The foundation honoring a University of Maryland football player says his death was caused by heatstroke during an organized team workout in May.
News outlets report the website’s description of the Jordan McNair Foundation attributes the 19-year-old offensive lineman’s death to heatstroke during the offseason practice. The University of Maryland had not disclosed the cause of death, citing family privacy.
The university has hired a sports medicine consulting firm to review whether the team followed proper protocol in the treatment and care of McNair, who died two weeks after he was hospitalized. The university says the review is ongoing.
McNair’s parents, Tonya Wilson and Martin McNair, have established the foundation, which is sponsoring a training facility, scholarship fund and heat-related illness education.
Alabama ups security
Alabama fans will be walking through metal detectors to get into Bryant-Denny Stadium this season. University of Alabama system trustees approved the use of 180 metal detectors. Deputy director of athletics Finus Gaston says they will cost $982,800 collectively.
The extra security will also be used at Coleman Coliseum for men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as gymnastics.
The SEC voted in June to use metal detectors at league sporting events by 2020. Alabama ran a test of the process in the final home game last season.
Athletic director Greg Byrne says it will require more time to enter the stadium but that the university is using more detectors than recommended “to ensure the smoothest possible entry for our fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.”
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