The SEC annual meetings begin today in Destin, Florida, and in addition to Steve Spurrier’s poolside shenanigans, there are some major issues on the docket. Here are five topics the coaches, presidents, and athletic directors are expected to discuss…
Last week, the presidents of the Pac-12 schools sent the four other major conferences–SEC, Big 12, Big 10, and ACC–a letter to discuss further autonomy from the NCAA. The NCAA has proposed giving the five major conferences more power to make their own rules on certain issues, and with a vote on restructuring coming up in August, figuring out which issues they’d like more responsibility on is a priority. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive told the Associated Press last week that he wants to make sure the proposed model is modified “so that autonomy really means autonomy” before the Board of Directors votes in August.
Among the issues they’ll likely want to add to the NCAA’s proposal: stipends, funding the full cost of scholarships, further medical coverage for student athletes, changing transfer rules, and paying for athletes’ families to travel to tournaments, an issue Calipari feels very passionate about.
2. An early signing period for football
During its spring meetings earlier this month, the ACC proposed an early signing period for college football, with a proposed start date of August 1st. Those for an early signing period argued that it would accelerate the recruiting process and allow players who are sure of where they want to go to school to go ahead and sign in order to fully focus on their senior seasons. However, there’s a lot of dissent about this topic in the SEC, and the odds of getting a consensus seem low.
For UK, an early signing period would be beneficial to prevent other teams from poaching our commitments, but at the same time, Stoops has flipped a few guys himself late in the game.
3. Alcohol sales at games
The SEC doesn’t allow alcohol sales at games, which is yet another area in which they could make an insane amount of money. LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said he could see alcohol sales happening at Tiger Stadium in the future because of course. It’s LSU. It’s always five o’clock in Louisiana. Still, this is a big jump for the SEC, and while lifting the ban on alcohol sales at on-campus games may not happen, SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said that the conference may vote to allow alcohol sales at neutral site and home games off-campus. That may mean alcohol sales at Rupp, since it’s technically an off-campus arena. Cheers?
4. The SEC Network
The SEC Network launches in August, and there are still a lot of details to iron out, including distribution. Right now, only ATT U-Verse, Google Fiber, and Dish have signed on as distributors, meaning many UK fans won’t be able to see two of UK’s first three football games this year. Not cool.
5. Everyone but UK and Florida sucking at basketball
Mike Slive has made it clear he’s not happy with how the conference is doing in basketball outside of Kentucky and Florida. Last year, he appointed Mark Whitworth as an assistant commissioner to oversee men’s basketball to make the SEC better. A huge part of that is improving each team’s non-conference schedules, and I think UK is good in that department. Also up for discussion: a 30-second shot clock, which the ACC will experiment with during exhibition games next season. I’m all for it.
How do you feel about each of the issues being discussed in Destin?