Alabama Crimson Tide, other SEC schools can be fined a million bucks for COVID-19 protocol violations
According to Heather Dinich of ESPN, a number of SEC schools, including the Alabama Crimson Tide, might need to shell out a hefty amount of money for any potential COVID-19 violations relative to protocols put in place. Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Friday that conference schools could pay a lump sum of up to $1 million as it tries to enforce guidelines.
Sankey reportedly acknowledged that teams are doing well in abiding by the rules, but still likened their overall grade to a “Needs Improvement.”
Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne both reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. This forced the postponement of two scheduled games within the week.
Penalties rise by $100,000 per offense. Sankey is also reportedly focusing in on the head coaches, whom he believes should serve as good examples to their athletes.
The SEC commissioner also added that he has been giving out memos over the past three weeks. Each of them have been less lenient as the weeks went on.
Furthermore, Sankey has incorporated a rather logical way to monitor whether coaches, staff, and athletes are following sideline protocols. Or, more accurately, aren’t committing COVID-19 violations.
“When the coach is on camera, is the mask on? Yes or no? Pretty objective standard,” said the head of the SEC, who typically stays in his conference office on Saturdays to watch games, and has reported five negative tests to do that. “Is there any social distancing involved, which to a certain extent can mitigate not wearing a mask, but the mask-wearing expectation is clear.
“In circumstances where the majority of time the head coach is not wearing the mask,” he said, “that’s where accountability will be applied.”
Commissioner Sankey has certainly enforced strict policies and a strong penalty for those who do not abide by league protocols. As difficult as these may be sometimes, it’s for the safety of everyone involved. So now, the Alabama Crimson Tide and all SEC schools need to avoid COVID-19 violations.