SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Blasts HBO, Explains Student-Athletes Are Safer On Campus Than At Home

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Getty Image / Lance King

The SEC began allowing student-athletes to return to campus, to the discretion of each university, on June 8. By now, most student-athletes are back on campus working out and practicing for their respective fall sports seasons to (hopefully) begin on time.

The decision made by the SEC, and other Power Five conferences, to push student-athletes back to campus was met with real concern by some due to the pandemic, and not so much from others. Alabama made headlines after a significant number of football players tested positive shortly after their arrival on campus.

The obvious argument involving not only student-athletes but regular students returning to campus this fall is the idea that it would immediately turn the campus into a ‘hotspot’ for the coronavirus. While that could very well turn out to be the case, the argument against that idea is that college campuses are actually a safer place for a number of these student-athletes compared to their own homes and hometowns.

Student-athletes have access to top-notch facilities, training specialists, and healthcare while on campus, which isn’t always the case when they’re back home.

HBO recently sat down with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and they simply asked him that by allowing student-athletes back on campus, specifically allowing them to travel from all over the country back to campus, isn’t that exposing them to an increased risk of infection?

Sankey wasn’t about to play into the question of comparison, instead, he gave an honest answer suggesting that campuses are safe and that he stands by the decision he made allowing athletes to return back in June.

Dan Wolken, who averages one to two positive or optimistic tweets per year, clearly sees something wrong with Sankey’s quote.

Wolken and anyone else that agrees with him have the right to do so, but I don’t believe Sankey said anything wrong here. He believes that they can create a controlled environment, much like the NBA’s bubble, by having student-athletes back on campus. He, along with every coaching staff in the SEC, thinks they can practice safely and keep student-athletes safe while preparing for the season.