By LARRY VAUGHT
On Friday the Southeastern Conference announced that all athletics activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, would be suspended through at least April 15, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and include all organized activities.
No individual or team workouts and no team meetings after 5 p.m. Monday.
Coaches and/or athletes are going to have a lot more free time than normal. So I thought this might be a perfect time to talk to some of them and checked Friday on the possibility of talking to softball coach Rachel Lawson. Her team was off to a blistering start and several individual players rank among the nation’s leaders.
But then this statement came from Guy Ramsey, UK’s Director of Strategic Communications: “Student-athletes are not available for interviews through at least April 15. Also, we are not accepting interview requests for coaches and staff until further notice. We will inform media when this changes.”
What? That just didn’t seem to make sense to me. Coaches and athletes could do interviews when they were practicing, playing games and traveling but not now that they had many more hours available.
I asked Ramsey what the reasoning was behind that decision.
“Interviews are considered athletics-related activities by both NCAA and SEC rule and therefore not allowed during this suspension period,” Ramsey said. “Thank you for your patience during a difficult time of adjustment for us all.”
If interviews are athletics-related activities, that means for almost 45 years now I’ve been doing athletic activities when I interview coaches and players I guess.
So don’t tell me media members are not athletes. Just ask the NCAA and SEC apparently for confirmation.