SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey met with the media Tuesday afternoon to kick off the festivities at the Hilton Sandestin resort. After lamenting the failed rule change to add a third paid baseball assistant, Sankey spilled the beans on a few topics that will capture your attention.
1. Alcohol Sales
Before university presidents and athletic directors began discussions behind closed doors, Sankey said alcohol isn’t the “magic fix” for slipping attendance figures in stadiums across the conference.
For those who wish to enjoy an adult beverage at Kroger Field, Sankey’s comments are discouraging. However, one person at the event told Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger “We’ve got the votes.” The only question is whether or not university officials will act.
The SEC hired international accounting firm Deloitte to review its football officiating. Unlike the NFL’s reaction to the missed pass interference in the NFC Championship Game, this move was not in response to one particular play or game.
“I believed then and I still believe we have as good a college football officiating program as there is yet we can still keep improving,” Sankey told The Associated Press. “And we started first looking at how do we communicate about officiating? And it was forward looking to this coming season that the nature of media, the focus on officiating, the fact there are commentators and broadcast booths giving opinions, sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re not correct. You don’t have complete information. Those are game changers for us.”
To improve the communication between officials and the public, the league will consider putting an official on the SEC Network each week to explain various calls from the previous Saturday.
Unfortunately, this official review and potential SEC Network feature only applies to football. College basketball is still stuck with awfully inconsistent officiating.
3. Injury Reports
Injury reports have exclusively been a professional sports phenomenon, until the Supreme Court effectively legalized sports gambling. Now that college sports are in play, injury reports may be too, although Sankey is in no hurry to implement them in the SEC.
“Sometime out there, it may be part of what we do, but I think we should proceed very carefully,” Sankey said. “I’m not in any rush to see that happen. I think it’s a mistake to hurry and not do something correctly.”