Things I didn’t expect Mark Stoops to talk about on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference: handguns. Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser asked each coach on the call their policy on handguns in wake of Auburn defensive back Stephen Roberts’ arrest on misdemeanor charges for an unlicensed firearm and attempted eluding of an officer. Roberts is suspended from Auburn’s opener vs. Clemson on Saturday and potentially longer.
Stoops told reporters he not only prohibits handguns on campus, he doesn’t allow his players to own them, even with a legal permit.
“Yeah, we do not allow any handguns. I’ve made it very clear to them that I do not want them owning a handgun, even if they have a legal permit for it. They obviously can never have a handgun on campus, but I make it my policy to tell them no guns and come explain to me why they may need a gun because we definitely should not need a gun living in Lexington, Kentucky. So, that’s my policy.”
Looking at the other responses via @MatthewCStevens, Stoops has one of the strictest no-guns rules in the SEC:
- Georgia’s Kirby Smart: Educates players on owning handguns
- Florida’s Jim McElwain, Tennessee’s Butch Jones, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn: University policy prohibits guns on campus
- Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason: Makes it clear to his players there’s no need for handguns on campus, but has had issues when players arrive on campus or go home for breaks
- Arkansas’ Bret Bielema: Allows players to have licensed handguns, mentions popularity of hunting
- Missouri’s Barry Odom: Players prohibited from owning a handgun while they are on the team
- Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze: No official team policy, but says he would have to distinguish from a hunting rifle and a handgun
- Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen: Players not allowed to have handguns
After the air-gun incident a few years back, I’m not surprised Stoops is so strict about this issue.