EKU responds after kicker quits team, makes strong allegations against coaching staff
(WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky University football player quit the team due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
Landon White, a kicker, and graduate from Madison Central High School took to Instagram to explain his reason for leaving the team.
Register Sports reported on Wednesday afternoon that a second play, junior offensive lineman Graham Ashkettle has also quit the EKU football team over concerns about COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Athletic Director Matt Roan released a statement on Wednesday afternoon:
“Eastern Kentucky University Athletics is aware of online statements recently made by a former student-athlete. First and foremost, the health, safety and overall well-being of our student-athletes will always be a primary priority. Head Football Coach Walt Wells and I have met continuously to ensure that football operations continue to adhere to local, state and health organization guidelines. We completely agree that egregiously or willfully ignoring safety guidelines, or our established protocol by any of our athletic programs, staff or students is a serious issue and will not be tolerated.
Our programs returned to campus on July 6. In preparation for summer participation, every student-athlete and sport-specific coach and staff member was tested for COVID-19. Furthermore, any student-athlete reporting to campus for activity for the first time in August has been, and will continue to be, required to receive a negative test result prior to their return. To coincide with the recent commencement of preseason practice, weekly testing will be performed consistent with resocialization requirements. When a student-athlete, coach or staff member reports symptoms to EKU Sports Medicine, that individual has been immediately monitored, tested and quarantined, if necessary.
Our staff and coaches take every opportunity to remind student-athletes to practice social distancing – including conducting meetings virtually – wear the proper masks/PPP, practice proper hygiene and to contact EKU Sports Medicine if they are feeling ill.
We continue to learn during this pandemic and our protocols evolve as we learn new information and receive additional guidance from public health professionals. EKU Athletics continues to work in lockstep with University administration, the EKU Office of Public Safety and Risk Management and the Madison County Health Department.”
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