Copyright 2018 The Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)
ATLANTA — SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on Monday that the conference is intently studying the possible fall-out over the legalization of sports gambling in the U.S. and admitted that the league may have to force its historically secretive coaches into some kind of standardized injury reports — or at least a list of those who will play.
Sankey said the league has been in consultation with the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour to learn about their planned efforts to monitor legalized gambling.
"Gambling activity around sports is not new, and that includes gambling activity around collegiate sports," Sankey said at the College Football Hall of Fame on the first day of SEC Media Days. "What is new is the expansion of legalized sports gambling and the increased cultural acceptance of legalized sports gambling."
Sankey said the league's preference is to have no legal sports gambling. Failing that, he hopes state and federal legislators enact law that protect the integrity of competition and offers protection to student-athletes.
Sankey said he talked with coaches at the SEC spring meetings in Destin about more transparent injury reporting, which could lessen the chance of gamblers trying to pry inside information from athletes, student trainers or managers.
He said injury reporting in college is different from professional sports.
"The nature of any so-called injury report around college sports will have very different dynamics than are present at the professional level," he said, citing medical privacy laws for athletes under 21, academic issues that are private and suspensions for violations of rules that coaches want to keep within the program.
"[The] … issues make something more like an availability report relevant for discussion," he said.
That means schools would release a roster of eligible and healthy players, rather than a list of players who won't be able to participate.
Sankey said there won't be any changes for the 2018 season, but all but predicted it in the future.
"I expect … the change in sports gambling could be and will be likely the impetus for the creation of such reports in our future," he said.
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