Fulmer taking cautious approach with sports gambling

In this March 20, 2018, file photo, Tennessee's athletic director Phillip Fulmer watches during the first day of spring NCAA college football practice, in Knoxville, Tenn.

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer is taking a wait-and-see approach to evaluating the impact legalized sports betting could have on his athletic department.

"Right now, we're looking at it and kind of see what, if any, consequences it has to college football as we go along," Fulmer said Thursday night at the Big Orange Caravan event in Nashville.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting earlier this week, opening the door for states to make their own laws that could legalize sports betting. One Tennessee state senator, Collierville Republican Brian Kelsey, already has indicated his intent to introduce legislation that would make sports gambling legal in the state.

Kelsey suggested in a Twitter post that his legislation would funnel state proceeds from sports betting to K-12 education.

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement this week in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision.

"We are in the process of reviewing the Supreme Court's decision and its potential long-term impact on the SEC and collegiate sports in general," Sankey said in the statement. "One of our first priorities is to ensure that we have thorough and effective systems in place to educate our student-athletes, coaches and other personnel on all issues associated with sports wagering."

That's the lead Fulmer is following for now.

"I'm going to kind of take the road that the commissioner set to take," Fulmer said.

Contact David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidWCobb and on Facebook at facebook.com/volsupdate.