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

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.

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDfJDaApM0j/

Categories: EKU, Featured, Football – General, Sports