EKU kicker leaves football team due to program’s alleged handling of fall camp amid pandemic

Landon White detailed his decision to leave the program in an Instagram post

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EKU Athletics

UPDATE 1:55 PM- EKU Athletics Director Matt Roan has released a statement;

“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.

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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.”

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – EKU kicker Landon White posted on Instagram he has resigned from his position on Eastern Kentucky’s football team.  In the post, he details how the team has handled returning to campus during the pandemic.

“At Eastern Kentucky Football there is little or no testing, (last team test was July 6),” White said in the post. “Symptomatic players still in the building and around other teammates. But the same day people had symptoms we continued to practice instead of face the issue head on.”

White went on to say the team arrived back on campus for fall camp July 31st.  He says since then, multiple players and members of the coaching staff have tested positive.  He also comments on the conditions of meeting rooms for players and staff.

“There are meeting rooms with 100+ players and staff crammed into it with zero space and no social distancing rules in sight,” said White in his Instagram post. “The Player cafeteria (case dining hall) endangers the EKU Cafeteria staff as well as other students who are now on campus, masks are routinely not worn while players are constantly being reminded by the dining hall staff instead of our coaches to keep it on.”

According to EKU’s Athletics website, White is a graduate of Madison Central and was set to be a redshirt junior this season.

White’s full Instagram post is below.  ABC 36 Sports has contacted an EKU Athletics spokesperson and we are awaiting on an official statement from the university.

View this post on Instagram

8-4-20. My last day is finally here. Today I have resigned my position on the Eastern Kentucky University football team as a kicker. Not huge news in the sports world I know but… No matter what you hear the facts are the facts, with the main fact being the coach and some staff, do not care about player safety. I will surely miss my brothers on the field. This is a tough day for me, but somebody has gotta tell the truth on what us athletes are going through during this pandemic. At Eastern Kentucky Football there is little or no testing, (last team test was July 6). Symptomatic players still in the building and around other teammates. But the same day people had symptoms we continued to practice instead of face the issue head on. Keep in mind we started fall camp on Friday July 31st. We have plenty of players and staff test positive over the past month. But you have probably heard very little on the matter. Have y’all heard about us suspending anything? Of course not. There are meeting rooms with 100+ players and staff crammed into it with zero space and no social distancing rules in sight. There are a bunch of potential positives in there. The Player cafeteria (case dining hall) endangers the EKU Cafeteria staff as well as other students who are now on campus, masks are routinely not worn while players are constantly being reminded by the dining hall staff instead of our coaches to keep it on. The Head Coach knows and the Head Coach does nothing. The Head Coach does not care about his players safety as well as his staff and their families. He cares about the 500k we are about to earn by playing WVU in Morgantown at the end of the month. The truth has to be told and I’ll be your guy. I love my teammates as well as my family and I’ll forever cherish the l moments I had with them. With 2 pregnant sisters, 3 nieces and a nephew, and a mom & dad as well as my Grandmother and grandfather I love dearly, I need to protect them at ALL cost. I will not endanger anyones health by continuing to play. This goes for my players family and my family. People need to know what the NCAA and University is really about and it’s not about player safety. #DoTheyReallyCare

A post shared by Landon White (@landon1white) on

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com