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What we learned on the first day of SEC Media Days
The 2021 edition of the SEC media days got underway on Monday, with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey kicking things off.
Among the big topics Sankey spoke on was the vaccination rate within the conference as it tries to have this season go off without a hitch.
“Right now 43 percent of our football teams, that’s 6 of 14, have reached the 80 percent threshold in roster vaccination,” Sankey said. “That number needs to grow and grow rapidly.”
Georgia is among those teams over the 80 percent threshold according to Seth Emerson of The Athletic. One only has to see how Georgia lost its senior day last season due to COVID issues within the Vanderbilt program as to why this should be important to teams. Or look at how the NC State baseball team was forced to withdraw from last month’s College World Series due to positive COVID tests.
Sankey went on to further explain the importance of going and getting vaccinated. Per the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, cases are up 140 percent compared to this time two weeks ago.
“When people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the virus’ spread, and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and to normal life,” Sankey said.
“With six weeks to go before kickoff, now is the time to seek that full vaccination. And we know nothing is perfect, but the availability and the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines are an important and incredible product of science.”
Sankey also called for federal guidelines when it comes to name, image and likeness laws, as it is now up to a state level in many places around the SEC.
He also shared some pretty daunting numbers when it came to the transfer portal.
“This year’s transfer portal had over 1,600 FBS scholarship recipients enter,” Sankey said. “There are still 1,100 active in that portal across all Division I sports, over 13,000 entered, and over 11,000 still remain.”
LSU still speaks highly of Arik Gilbert
Now Georgia wide receiver Arik Gilbert was a topic on Monday as his former LSU team met with the media. He opted out with two games remaining last season before ultimately entering the transfer portal in January.
Gilbert ultimately ended up with the Bulldogs and seems primed to become a big piece of the Georgia offense. As a freshman, he caught 35 passes for 368 yards for two touchdowns for the Tigers.
When asked about Gilbert on Monday, his former head coach had nothing but positive things to say about the now Bulldog.
“We wish him the best. He’s an outstanding young man,” Ed Orgeron said. “Mama is a great lady. I think he’s going to be an All-Pro tight end, All-American has a chance to be a first-round draft choice.”