SEC officials striving for transparency

By JEFFERY WINBORNE, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 7/15/19

HOOVER — The Southeastern Conference is working to make officiating much more transparent according to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who addressed the media Monday morning in Hoover.

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SEC officials striving for transparency

Posted

HOOVER — The Southeastern Conference is working to make officiating much more transparent according to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who addressed the media Monday morning in Hoover.

A number of changes were announced by Sankey, including adding to the number of outside officiating evaluators and officiating crews traveling across the conference for a two-day camp during preseason practice.

“During those two days,” Sankey said, “they’ll participate in position meetings, engage in on-field practices, discuss rules and techniques with coaches and student-athletes to improve the understanding of football rules and officiating mechanics.”

SEC officials have come under fire in recent years, most notably in 2018 when LSU linebacker Devin White was ejected for targeting against Mississippi State. Per NCAA rules, White was required to sit out the first half of the Alabama game two weeks later. The resulting firestorm saw everything from billboards featuring the hashtag #FreeDevinWhite in Baton Rouge to even the governor of Louisiana tweeting about it.

Sankey said the conference is hoping to battle what he call “ill-informed” judgements about SEC officiating by exploring ways to further inform and educate viewers about what goes into officiating a game.

“We’re launching a website today, secsports.com/officiating,” Sankey announced. “We will add educational videos, rules information and some of the policies I just referenced that are being updated.”

Most surprisingly, Sankey said that they are exploring ways to be more engaged and active on social media, saying they “do recognize there are opportunities to engage and explain in ways we haven’t previously explored.”

During his opening press conference at SEC Media Days and shortly after the announcement of being active on social media, the Twitter handle @SECOfficiating tweeted its first tweet introducing itself.

“This account will serve as your source for rules, videos, statistics and activities inside the SEC Video Center,” the tweet read. “Go easy on us!”

No details were given on exactly what this inside access will entail, but he did stress the new intiative does not mean the SEC will spend all day on Saturdays tweeting about officials.