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Eastern Kentucky kicker quits, says coaches are not concerned with player safety related to COVID-19

Eastern Kentucky kicker quits, says coaches are not concerned with player safety related to COVID-19
Posted at 12:00 PM, Aug 05, 2020

Kicker Landon White left the Eastern Kentucky University football team while taking a big shot at the program on his way out of the locker room.

The Madison Central grad grew disgusted with what he said have been poor, or even nonexistent, safety measures as it relates to the team and its handling of player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

White claimed in an Instagram post that no one on the team has been tested since July 6. He said symptomatic players are practicing with the team and that positive test results are not being reported.

He also accused head coach Walt Wells of being more concerned about the $500,000 payout for playing West Virginia than he is about player safety.

LEX 18 has attempted to contact White, but so far has not heard back.

Matt Roan, Director of Athletics at Eastern Kentucky University, said in a statement 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."

Read the full statement below:

"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."

WLEX's Michael Berk first reported this story.