As media days kick off this summer in both the SEC and Big 12, one of the trending topics commissioners in all leagues face is how college football will respond to the legalization of sports betting. In particular, how will each.
Both Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey were asked about it on Monday. Both commissioners gave answers that sounded somewhat similar. It seems that neither knows what an injury report will look like (or be called), or who will be in charge of it, but that it appears to be an inevitability.
"I'm not involved in the most recent discussions on this topic, but the FERPA and HIPAA considerations are substantial," said Bowlsby when asked about the proposed injury reports. "Having said that, the ACC has been announcing injury status reports for a while. They don't get into the specific injuries, but I think they use a three-tiered questionable, definitely out and I don't know what the other one is.
"So it's not something that you can't do on your own. We haven't chosen to do it because we want to get some answers relative to the student records and the like, but my sense is that there's going to be a human cry for that to happen and as long as we don't get too far into the specifics of what the injury is and what kind of medication they may be taking and what the duration is and those kinds of things, but some sort of simple system may work. We've talked about whether or not it gets managed by the conferences or whether it gets managed at a national level, and I think that's unresolved at this point."
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Sankey touched on the issue in his opening statements, saying that "the integrity of our games is of the utmost importance" when it comes to how the league will respond to the legalization of sports gambling.
"It's clear that the nature of any so-called injury report around college sports will have very different dynamics than are present at the professional level. 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," Sankey said. "I do not believe this has to happen before the 2018 season, either on the part of this conference or the national level.
"I expect, however, the change in sports gambling could be and will be likely the impetus for the creation of such reports in our future."
Sankey went on to say that figuring out the best way to address the issue is more important than producing one right away.