Greg Sankey made the SEC’s official position on a potential new Mississippi gun law very clear on Wednesday.
According to a letter Sankey wrote to the leadership of Mississippi State and Ole Miss on Wednesday, league opponents likely “will decline opportunities” to play at each school if proposed gun legislation turns into law for the state of Mississippi.
Sankey’s issue is with proposed House Bill 1083, which could allow for concealed weapons to be carried inside Rebels and Bulldogs sporting venues. According to a report from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, the bill passed in the Mississippi House by a vote of 80-29 but it still must pass vote in the Senate to become state law.
Here’s a look at his letter, which was sent on Wednesday and subsequently publicized by Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter via the school’s official website:
“Dear President Keenum and Chancellor Vitter:
This letter is in response to proposed House Bill 1083 and its potential to introduce concealed
carry weapons into stadiums, arenas and other college sports venues.
The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University are founding members of the
Southeastern Conference and each has established a long history of working with public safety
officials to provide a safe environment for intercollegiate athletic competition.
Given the intense atmosphere surrounding athletic events, adding weapons increases
meaningful safety concerns and is expected to negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics
programs at your universities in several ways. If HB 1083 is adopted to permit weapons in
college sports venues, it is likely that competitors will decline opportunities to play in Oxford
and Starkville, game officials will decline assignments, personal safety concerns will be used
against Mississippi’s universities during the recruiting process and fan attendance will be
negatively impacted. When similar laws have been introduced in the past, the SEC office has
received clear statements of concern from our member universities due to safety concerns
associated with the passage of such laws intended to allow weapons at our athletic events and
It is our desire to see athletic events and sports venues exempted from proposed House Bill
The SEC’s universities work closely with public safety officials to ensure the safety of participants
and fans in our competitive venues. We will continue to closely monitor the status of House Bill
1083. In the event House Bill 1083 becomes law and includes concealed carry in college sports
venues, the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors will consider existing SEC regulations and bylaws
to determine appropriate modifications to scheduling, safety and officiating policies.”
In a letter to address the university’s stance on the proposed change in law, the Ole Miss chancellor expressed concerns of his own.
“If this bill were to pass, it would negatively impact the University of Mississippi’s ability to continue to uphold the safety and security for our students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors on all our campuses — the Oxford campus, our regional campuses, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center,” Vitter wrote.