The Latest: Sankey ties sports gambling, mental health

Sports

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

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HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on SEC media days (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Commissioner Greg Sankey opened Southeastern Conference media days talking about everything from a connection between sports gambling and athletes’ mental health to football officiating and the event’s future venues.

Sankey says he’d like to see “uniform practices” on college sports gambling in every state and elimination of specific in-game wagers or proposition betting. He also talked about the connection between sports gambling and mental health, with potential extra pressure on a field goal attempt, 3-point shot or ball-strike call.

Sankey also said Monday that trends in mental health should give officials pause before betting on specific college events is legalized.

The commissioner says athletes frequently want to discuss mental health issues and calls this “a wave of new reality, which faces all of us in intercollegiate athletics and higher education.”

Officiating was another hot topic. He says officiating crews will visit each football camp for two days during preseason practice, including sitting in for position meetings and discussing rules and techniques with coaches and players.

Sankey also announced that media days will return to Atlanta next year and be held in Nashville for 2021.

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3 a.m.

Southeastern Conference media days begins at the event’s longtime home.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey kicks the four-day event off Monday with his annual media address about the state of the league and college football. Media days returns to the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Alabama after one year in Atlanta.

The spotlight will be on LSU coach Ed Orgeron on Day 1, with Florida’s Dan Mullen and Missouri’s Barry Odom also taking the podium.

Some things haven’t changed: Alabama and Georgia remain the division favorites. The Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban speaks Wednesday, a day after Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart has his turn.

All 14 teams will make the rounds, including star quarterbacks like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia’s Jake Fromm. Every SEC head coach returns this season for the first time since 2006.

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