Greg Sankey talks officiating accountability, mental health, goals for SEC in upcoming season

Greg Sankey talks officiating accountability, mental health, goals for SEC in upcoming season



good afternoon good to see everyone some of you I've seen as I look out I saw you at like a hotel on a very cold snowy day in Kansas City so it's nice to be in the warmth of the south you probably had the opportunity either hear my opening remarks or see perspectives on Twitter or information we've shared so I'll be brief with my comments another remarkable year across the league we led the nation in attendance in the sport of football yet again the most viewed college football championship game won five national championships concluding with Vanderbilt's national championship in the sport of baseball the nice thing about winning the baseball championship is like you don't lose a game for two months before the football season begins so you get to enjoy that announced that will be in Atlanta next year for media days and in Nashville in 2021 I think it's a new concept to move media days around for us but it was healthy last year and those are healthy opportunities for us in the future allow some creative thinking about how we make sure you and the media are able to do their work and see what else we might be able to add around this event shared some perspectives on sports gambling one of which is our presidents and chancellors had me write to NCAA President Mark Emmert and share our desire for them to continue pursuing some federal legislation around uniformity and national sports gambling standards I also think we need to be careful about mental health issues for our student-athletes these are real issues that our student-athletes are talking about with us regularly our campuses do well in supporting and meeting their needs what we can add to those you can add to those by doing certain things I think gambling and the pressure there could be a part of that I talked about about officiating and an external review and some of the changes that have taken place some around how we communicate about officiating I'm happy to talk about any of those issues or whatever else may be on your mind so rather than talk for 20 minutes like I did in the big room what's what you want to discuss the Mizzou sections do not get overturned what kind of message do you think the n-c-double-a is sending I don't want to speculate so there's there's a hypothetical there I think into all of these issues are reminders of the need to be overly antenna from a compliance standpoint I am concerned about what I perceive is a rigid application of a penalty matrix but the NCAA Board of Directors said here's the prescribed penalties for activities it suggests that that made it we named we may not be in the right place with that penalty structure yeah the message has been to avoid these problems and we're going to work to continue to avoid these types of problems of the league second road to your right Tatom Everett Fox out of Nashville goes loud you mentioned healthy options for me days moving it to places what made Nashville that destination after you have been here and in Atlanta I'll talk about Atlanta and then if I can you know the College Football Hall of Fame was a natural for us and so we were we were going to move after 30 plus years here in the Birmingham and Hoover area I wanted to go to places where we thought we had the successful base in Nashville given what we do there in basketball Vanderbilt's presents the passion for the University of Tennessee locally but also the accessibility of the city for any other fans or media who want to be a part of the event in Nashville we can make that happen you have a brand new hotel that has been very interested in being a part of this experience so we look forward to that venue hey Commissioner how you doing a couple of questions for you one you talked about the attendance within the sec how healthy it is but with the changing landscape of football as it stands how do you long-term keep butts in the seats and stadiums we talk about it every day in some ways and we're seeing you know if it's a demographic change if it's an expectation change and ripple effects from the college football playoff it's if it's a need to adjust stadiums that may they have worked in other setting and we made a change to our alcohol policy that is one of those things that we heard constantly so from a conference office we have almost for a decade now been in the activity of fans surveys as I think about analytics and researching information we may be even more active in learning our campuses are all active in learning and adjusting and and these attendance issues affect them most directly and and then how do we bring together our directors of marketing to collaborate it's not about television we've had every game on TV for decades the kickoff times have been varied between early midday and late for decades and so how do we learn and adapt to figure out what's important and where do we need to adjust and then what can we do to adjust to meet meet our fans interests and needs those are the types of questions will ask continually the other thing that I was really encouraged that you talked about opening in your opening statements and here was mental health and and obviously what the work that I do with my other hat with changing the narrative I just know how paramount that is and to have a commissioner speak about it in their opening statements in the media I just want to applaud you because what I have learned is if you start talking about it and take the mask off then these young people are more and more prone and they feel okay sharing their struggles I'm curious as a commissioner because nobody wants to lose a player nobody wants to have a player that's struggling inside as a commissioner what is your edict to your schools to have increased awareness around mental health thank you for your comments first and those comments are driven by listening to our student-athletes in very sincere and specific ways and your question really is their question is what can you do as commissioner to help better support the mental health of our student-athletes and and that's where we've had really candid conversations about a lot of this need is individualized so I'm not able to sit in office in downtown Birmingham and meet the needs of 5,400 students athletes but we can can raise the level of attention we've also spent time learning about what happens on our campus ISM as I shared the good news really removes the need for an edict because our universities first of all for their student bodies because that's that's a reality as well for for young people be they students or student athletes are our universities provide mental health counseling but our athletics departments have done that we have athletics departments who have added four five and six counselors just to meet those needs the pressures are different one moves from a high school setting where they may have been a big deal in a town and all sudden their names all over the media or social media hopefully for good things but at 18 not everyone's prepared for that and the the reality is our universities and their athletics two programs are are continuing to evolve and helping people meet those challenges that's that's the challenge it's certainly exciting to have media days moving around to other cities but where does Hoover's stand when it comes to future sites we didn't announce past 21 and we'll go through a process at some point we don't have a timeline to consider opportunities but we play our baseball tournament here and we've had this incredibly successful baseball tournament part of which is driven by the commitment that the city of Hoover made to the campus around the mat we had our largest attended baseball tournament so understand there are a lot of things a lot of people have interest in the conference which is great if you're me and we'll walk through a decision-making process for 22 and Beyond and then I would expect Hoover and the Birmingham area would be part of that conversation along with other metropolitan areas to the right hi I'm Melanie Posey I'm actually with the city of Hoover so based upon that similar question let me ask this can you say what Hoover has done right in the past few years first of all and then second of all what can we as a city continue to do to make ourselves attracted to these processes well you know baseball is a great example of a city that's done something right we had a baseball stadium at the end of an agreement and we had the need and really my first year the responsibility to look beyond to see are there better situations because my responsibility is to find the best opportunities for the Southeastern Conference we now have an indoor facility that I think the city benefits from year-round there was just a basketball tournament there last week that drew our coaches in you see this playground and Recreation Area practice fields and so they've built this synergy around baseball that I think is a really great answer for baseball now what's the right answer for football Media Days our event has changed we have more people we have more needs more media and the facility works now but as we continue to create opportunities I was on the Marty and McGee show which takes up a room so that's another space you didn't think I was gonna talk about Marty and McGee here we'll continue to look and we'll have proposal specifications we also want to be attentive from the conference perspective if we're going to be creative about how to might we engage fans really to rachel's question about building our fan base moving it around is a natural outcome of that thought process and then whether it's it's Hoover or Atlanta or Nashville how do we creatively work to make sure the media gets their jobs done but maybe make it a celebratory event as well I think that's what I'd put on people's plates be at Hoover or other cities that may have an interest in the future excuse me yeah just go ahead and roll out I can hear you I don't know if it creates less blowback on officiating calls I don't think I can win everyone on the officiating issue and I accept that but I also don't accept that the the bucket of goodwill and credibility has to just stand empty and rather than where'd the trance use the word transparency how can we educate people about all that goes into our officiating as I said we have highly committed people of integrity officiating games and they want to officiate games correctly game doesn't lend itself to being perfect whether you're a player coach calling plays or an official and people have to realize that it's not just a Saturday event in football it's not just Tuesday Wednesday Saturday event basketball we want people to see all the work that goes in whether it's through the week or through the year you know one of the questions always well what is the Steve Shaw do you know Steve Shaw has a full-time job dedicated to supporting officiating to guiding our program and that's a level of commitment that's important to us and one that we'll continue to support and probably expand upon how we support of officiating cleanse White's are a great American Sports Network again city commissioner you spoke about the sanctions levied to the University of Missouri how important is it for you to kind of have the backs of institutions like Missouri and other schools in the SEC that may face you know these kind of adverse situations the goal for us is very clearly stated to our institutions it's never to pull down a championship banner never get back a championship trophy and never have a team banned from post-season because we can't follow the NCAA's rules or meet their academic standards that's uniform for everyone and we have a responsibility in advising and supporting our institutions as they work through actions process if we do that with Missouri we do that with every institution that walks through that process and that's a responsibility that we take very seriously for everyone on the riser in the rush on Snell Alabama news network in Montgomery this year the SEC will have alcohol sales and stadiums just talk about that being mixed with rowdy fans in 21 go college kids already we we changed our prohibitive policy on alcohol in the general seating area this year and we did so after a year-long discussion with a working group and actually after years of conversation about whether the SEC should continue to be the only conference with this absolute prohibition the change allows institutions autonomy to make decisions about selling alcohol but does so within again the only conference circumstance where we have management expectations for the sale and availability of alcohol there's no sales within stands now at all House there's no Hawkin within the stands the sales have to be from fixed concession areas there are specific cut-off times there are specific management expectations and oversight expectations and we'll go through the year we'll learn as we go through the year how many of our institutions sell alcohol we'll pay attention to public safety issues and determine what adjustments if any need to be made in the future but we expect our institutions and exercise care is they also exercise this opportunity to make alcohol more widely available around athletic events do you're right Greg I wanted to ask about the network contract and I guess the tier 1 contract that's coming up would y'all prefer to stay with a broadcast network has membership said anything about preferences or anything like that and what do you think it will be wrapped up generally speaking you're asking me about our agreement with CBS yes well there are elements of that question that aren't appropriate for me to comment publicly we've had a great relationship spanning decades with CBS as I said we had 10 of the most 20 viewed football games on television last season and at the college level we have the highest viewed college football championship game and I think we have five more seasons with CBS so we'll work to see what the future may hold back scott Carpenter WL TZ and of Columbus Georgia we've seen the transfer portal really impact the sport recently and then we've seen it kind of come under fire recently where does the SEC in yourself stand on the rule now as opposed to where it was and where it might be here's where I stand I think it was appropriate that our athletics programs not control communication destination or financial aid should someone transfer those are realities that three four years ago an institution could block that's the phrase you saw or determine whether somebody else received aid if they chose to transfer like moving away from that's healthy Oh point one point two I've said repeatedly that if we had a year residence as a standard somehow that causes people to slow down and supports the proper educational outcomes but that's not reality that's not where we are and so I've heard the concerns the conference has not done anything to to restrict transfers beyond our current policy of inter conference transfer or all serve a year of residence in fact we've created freedom for graduate transfers which is an indication of relieving a little bit of the transfer pressure and so far that's been managed appropriately okay commissioner thank you very much for that's it okay this video was brought to you by the Alabama Department of Labor visit your local Career Center today to learn about our on-the-job training program for employees and employers

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