Courtesy of OverSigning.com
Even before Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive took the stage, everyone at SEC Media Days, followers on Twitter and beyond were abuzz about the message that he would deliver at the opening of the July 20th Media Day. Word circulated that Slive would stick it to the NCAA (and he sort of did in a subtle way) in his opening speech and everyone was all ears. Instead, Mike Slive took the high road and proposed how he would change not only the Southeastern Conference, but the college athletics game in general. Mr. Slive wants to move forward with three rule adoptions and the continuance of another practice.
- “Strengthen academic eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen and two-years transfers.” – Increasing the eligibility requirements for prospective student-athletes. This means following the academic progress of athletes from their freshmen year of high school up until the point of graduation. It means a full evaluation of transcripts, which would ultimately increase the process. Included in increasing eligibility requirements is the mandatory GPA changing from a 2.0 to a 2.5 on a 4.0+ scale. As I understand, Slive has the ability to make this change within his conference, but not the NCAA as a whole. Any adoption by the NCAA would have to be voted upon. Should the SEC move forward with this change, borderline student-athletes would begin choosing other conferences that do not impose a similar regulation. Mike did say that partial qualifiers would be included; which means a student athlete can get into an institution under the old rules, but could only practice during his or her first year on campus. Freshmen have been allowed to compete since the 1972 season. Prior to that season, they could only practice and were required to sit out a year like a transfer would today.
- “Modernize the recruiting rules.” – Commissioner Slive also wants to “modernize recruiting.” This means allowing coaches to communicate with prospective student-athletes freely via social media such as: Twitter, Facebook and text messaging. Slive stated that differences already exist whether it is climate, history, stadiums or otherwise. It is time to standardize things according to Slive. Instead of having quiet periods and dead periods and evaluation periods and yada yada yada, standardize things. If a coach is allowed to recruit and see a player off-campus then let him recruit. A school like Kentucky recruits a lot of players from Florida in football, but their communication is inhibited because they can’t talk to the recruits every time they are down there. As a recruiter, you have to frequent an area though. It builds a relationship, but a lot of those visits didn’t even result in face to face interaction between the recruiter and prospect. Standardize the rules and make it more fair all year round.
- “Redefine the benefits available to our student-athletes.” – Slive also called for student-athletes to receive additional benefits. They currently get tuition, room and board and a monthly stipend. Slive wants to expand on that to include: health insurance, travel expenses, medical (covered by health insurance?), emergency expenses, clothing and certain things not covered previously. The Commissioner additionally put emphasis on the student in student-athlete. Currently, scholarship players have six years to complete their four seasons of competition. Slive wants to extend that, so that the student-athlete has time to come back later in their lives to complete their degree. Also, as things stand now, a scholarship can only be offered on a year-to-year basis. The new recommendation would make scholarships a multi-year agreement pending the correct behavioral and academic requirements are met. If a player does not pan out, then it is the fault of the head coach and the player is not hurt.
Commissioner Slive also called for the continued efforts to enforce rules and regulations.
- “Continue to support the NCAA’s efforts to improve the enforcement process.” – This one is pretty self explanatory. Slive wants to make sure things are still evaluated and handled appropriately and efficiently. However, in addition, Commissioner Slive wants to redefine what constitutes a “secondary” and “major” violation. He says that all violations are considered a problem and should be dealt with as such.
To read more you can read any one of the following writeups:
Oversigning.com also has a good writeup from back in February about the SEC addressing the 28 scholarship limit and the 85 player rule. You can find that HERE.