Kirby Smart says every SEC decision starts with ensuring safety of the student-athletes
Georgia is hard at work preparing its athletic facilities for the return of its student-athletes in the coming days.
That was the message relayed to the media on Thursday by Kirby Smart, who met with the media on a virtual call. When asked about the pressure being felt by Georgia to return to action and weighing that pressure against the safety of the program’s student-athletes, the Bulldog coach expressed his belief that the SEC would not jeopardize the health of his players for any reason.
“Yeah, it’s a fine line between what is your motivation. I mean, I certainly think that fiscally and financially, it’s going to benefit if there is a football season but that has nothing to do with the decisions that go into it medically,” Smart answered.
The way Smart views things, the powers that be in college football are leaning hard on the experts to give them the right information then making informed decisions based on that information.
“Every decision that is made on the SEC level, I can assure you, is made by infectious disease people based on information that the safety and well being of our student-athletes,” Smart added.
Making decisions based on financial reasons would be the worst thing the SEC could do, according to Smart. The message that will be conveyed in Athens will be simple, if you don’t feel healthy, don’t come in that day.
“The worst thing we can do as coaches, or administrators, is to feel like we have to do this in order to survive financially and make a decision that is costly to some even one student-athlete,” Smart continued. “And I know that from the Georgia perspective, every decision we’re making on the return to sport is a safety and health and well being. There won’t be pressure to go work out, to go do this, kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever if a guy is sick. We don’t want them to come in, we don’t want them to put themselves in jeopardy.
The Georgia coach added that informing his players of the risks upon their return will be another added focus of his program.
“The biggest thing we can do is take care of it that by making good decisions being aware, we’re going to educate our players, because I promise you, there’s some of our players, they don’t feel vulnerable, they feel like they’re not vulnerable because of what they’ve heard, because they think they have superpowers,” Smart concluded.
“So, we’re going to educate our guys to be safe to make good decisions and we’re going to have education sessions, even when they get back to give us the best opportunity to have a season, but that’ll be based on the scientists not on financial people.”