Sports Betting May Mandate SEC Injury Reports

Don’t expect the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to require frequent injury reports on athletes from coaches this year. However, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey (l.) says they will probably be introduced next year in response to the widespread legalization of sports betting.

The legalization of sports betting by the U.S. Supreme Court in May could mandate the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to require frequent injury reports from coaches on their athletes the SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said last week to reporters.

Sankey spokes at the league’s annual media gathering. He called the effect of sports betting one of the largest issues facing the league, which has schools in ten states, but said it’s unlikely that the weekly injury reports will be required this year.

The commissioner said, “My general feeling and our coaches general feeling is the same: That is probably something that needs to happen on a national basis. I don’t think it will happen for this season. I suspect it will be for next season. But I will be surprised if that is not in place.”

Sankey said, “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.” He added, “I do not believe this has to happen before the 2018 season, either on the part of this conference or the national level.”

He added, “I think that is critically important and would not only include injuries but if there is disciplinary action where a player is suspended for a game for whatever reason, that would need to be a part of it as well. I think that reduces to some degree people you don’t really want coming around players and managers and doctors and anybody associated with the program, or coaches, and trying to get information in an underhanded kind of way.”

Currently only one state within the SEC, Mississippi, allows sports betting. But that is expected to change, with Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina and Louisiana all considering bills.

Sankey said the SEC will not act hastily to adopt new rules to deal with the law. “That will result from collaboration among the American Football Coach’s Association and its representatives, the conference, the NCAA national office, learning from the professional leagues and with proper guidance from legal resources. If this is to happen, we have one opportunity to get it right.”

Sports books normally use information on players who want to be participating in a game to help them set odds.

Swofford doesn’t approve of sports betting, he said, but he said it’s part of the new world and that players should be protected.

“Sometimes when you think something is going to be horrible and incredible mess and it comes into play and a year or two later you find out, well, that’s not as impactful as I thought it would be,” he said. “We have seen that in recent years in college athletics.”