During the SEC Commissioner’s 30-minute opening address there was plenty of fluffy stuff said, but he found a way to sneak in some good stuff. Here are the parts that matter (kinda sorta) and what he had to say about UK.
Nobody is on Probation, HOORAY!
“Last August, for the first time since 1984, we reached a point where no SEC university is currently on probation with the NCAA,” Sankey said.
“Not so fast my friend,” is what Lee Corso would have said if he was here. Now there are two schools that have received Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. The NCAA should probably just open a new bureau in Oxford, Mississippi to keep up with all of the violations.
Well this Makes No Sense
“Young people need to understand the serious consequences associated with their behaviors.”
As he was saying this, it was revealed in the other room that four Auburn players busted for pot in the spring wouldn’t miss any game time. Impeccable timing.
Sankey also said, “Our leaders need to make certain the laws and expectations of society are unquestionably followed.” I guess if they’re not charged, then they aren’t breaking the law. I’m looking at you Alabama.
Helping College Athletes Transition into Careers
If there’s one initiative Commissioner Sankey is hanging his hat on, it’s this. Even though student-athletes get free tuition, it doesn’t necessarily set them up for jobs after school. While their peers build their resumes with internships in their prospective field, they’re busy playing sports. I appreciate that he’s shedding a little light on the situation and actively helping student-athletes build networks that will help them transition into their field of choice.
Sankey’s Favorite Spurrier Quote
Since we can’t hear him this year, he shared his favorite. Unfortunately he had to remain diplomatic, but it would have been hilarious if he threw Citrus Bowl shade at Tennessee. His choice:
“I don’t want to coach too far into my 60s. By that time I’ll be playing golf four or five times a week.”
Praise for UK
While speaking about certain initiatives the conference wants to use as tenets moving forward, he used different student-athletes as examples that embodied each initiative. Giving back was a big one and Kentucky was at the top of his list.
The commissioner applauded the three individuals who made the annual mission trip to Ethiopia — Marcus McWilson, Austin MacGinnis and Alex Montgomery.
“When I met with Kentucky student-athletes, I asked them what was your most memorable experience at the University of Kentucky. Those who made that trip said that was a life-changing experience for them.”
He also noted the joint program by UK and Texas A&M in Appalachia that is focused on developing sustainable housing for families.
The SEC at the Olympics
America won’t have many golfers, but they’ll have plenty of athletes from the SEC. 125 athletes will be representing the SEC in Rio. Not too shabby.