Former Pac-12 coach Mike Leach spoke to the media during SEC media days on July 21, and covered an array of topics asked by reporters. The COVID-19 pandemic was brought up several times, and when Leach was asked questions regarding the vaccine, he kept his answers short.
"First of all, we let the doctors handle all that, so I don't have anything to do with that. We let the guys that know what they're doing handle it," Leach said after being asked if he had addressed vaccinations with his team.
The Mississippi State coach was then asked a follow up question about his own vaccination history, which he shut down rather fast. "If I was or I wasn't [vaccinated], I wouldn't share it with you. But again, we leave that to the doctors and anybody's doctor or care provider."
When SEC media days kicked off earlier this week commissioner Greg Sankey announced that six of the conference's 14 teams have reached the 80% mark for vaccinations.
"That number needs to grow and grow rapidly," said Sankey. "We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of a COVID environment."
In order for a programs to avoid regular COVID-19 testing and the requirement of wearing masks indoors, teams must achieve a 85% vaccination threshold.
"It's not a political football," Sankey said of vaccinations, "and we need to do our part to support a healthy society because, as we look back, the potential absence of college sports last year caused us to think about not losing sight of the lifelong experiences, the laboratory of learning that takes place, and the educational benefits that accrue to the people who participate on our teams."
According to MayoClinic.org, the state of Mississippi has approximately 33.8% fully vaccinated Americans, which is one of the lower percentages state wide.
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