SEC Media Days: Missouri still awaiting decision on NCAA appeal

SEC Media Days kicked off Monday at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover with Commissioner Greg Sankey speaking on the coming SEC football season.[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

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

2:05 p.m.

Missouri coaches and players feel good about the Tigers’ football team, especially after adding former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant to a veteran offense during the offseason.

That’s led to lofty goals for the Tigers. Whether those goals include postseason appearances is unclear.

Missouri is currently ineligible for the postseason after receiving a one-year ban from the NCAA as part of the punishment for academic misconduct involving a tutor. The school has appealed that ruling and hopes to get a final verdict soon.

Coach Barry Odom said Monday that he looks forward to closure, but no matter the outcome, his program is focused on “having absolutely zero excuses.”

Bryant spent four years at Clemson, where he threw for more than 3,300 yards in his career. He lost his job to Trevor Lawrence early last season and decided to transfer for his senior year.

Odom says the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Bryant is a “very selfless person” and “one of the best competitors I have ever been around.”

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.

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.