Greg Sankey: College Athletes Are "Without a Doubt" Healthier on Campus

Nate Gabler

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey had some interesting things to say on Tuesday morning about the status of college football and the health of college athletes.

Appearing on the Dan Patrick show, amid what seems like a 48-hour span of constant question marks and upheaval in college football, Sankey stuck with the notion the Southeastern conference has had all along. They're still going to try and play, even if others cancel. 

"It is not simply going to be a guiding moment if another conference makes a decision," Sankey said. "But a piece of information along this really, really interesting journey."

An interesting thing of note during Sankey's appearance was the realistic expectation of keeping kids safe.

It's a notion that's been thrown out quite a bit by players over the course of the last week: is it really safer to cancel the season and send these kids home? After all, at home there is no bi-weekly COVID-19 testing like the SEC is requiring. There's no mandated social distancing in gyms or out elsewhere with family.

"They're in a much more healthy situation, working out in our facilities with medical care and health protocols around COVID in this new environment compared to lifting weights in a local gym," Sankey said. "I think it's really without a doubt. What we're continuing to do is to support the healthy return of competition.

"What we've really done is to create a quasi-bubble on our campus' for our teams to be healthy and supported really well and a quasi-bubble with our college schedule."

Of course, there's also counter points to these thoughts, some that Ole Miss players themselves have been quite vocal about in past weeks.

Rebel players will still be attending classes with regular students, those who do not have the same safety protocols in place and very likely will not be social distancing and will very likely be doing things such as attending parties and other events that will likely cause more COVID-19 athletes that athletes themselves will be subjected to.

When Ole Miss linebacker MoMo Sanogo asked the SEC about these concerns during a recent conference call, their only advice was to sit in the back of the class and wear a mask, adding: 

"As un-fun as it sounds, the best thing you can do is just try to encourage others to act more responsible and not put yourself in those kind of situations."

Does that make things safer than just returning home? There's really no way to know.

All we do know right now is that it seems like Ole Miss athletes want to play. Will they get that opportunity is a whole different story. 

More From The Grove Report:

Reactions From Across the SEC on the Chaos in College Football

#WeWantToPlay. Ole Miss Rebels Attempting to Reclaim the CFB Season

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