DESTIN, Fla. – The Southeastern Conference can’t do much about college basketball’s one-and-done issues, but its has eliminated the practice in football.
The league’s presidents voted Friday to remove an exemption that had allowed graduated athletes with one year of eligibility remaining to transfer anywhere and play immediately as long as the new school offered a graduate degree not offered at their initial school. Former Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli joined the Rebels last year under that exemption.
“It is not acceptable for us to have a student-athlete transfer in solely for an athletic experience,” Slive said.
The rule won’t take effect until Oct. 1, so any players who are going through that process this year will be allowed to do so.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: The SEC distributed a record $220 million to its member schools this week, handing out $18.3 million per school. The payout includes $113 million from football television contracts, $31.3 million from bowl payouts, $15.3 million from the football championship game, $31.1 million from basketball television contracts, $5 million from the men’s basketball tournament and $24.3 million from NCAA championships.
ACADEMICS UPPED: The league passed a rule that increases the number of credit hours a football player must pass each fall from six to nine. If the player doesn’t do that, they will be suspended for four games the next season. Players who don’t pass nine hours can have the penalty lifted one time if they pass 27 hours for the entire academic year.
SLIPPERY SLOPE: The SEC will no longer allow its schools to host 7-on-7 football camps on their campus.
“The concern has been expressed about the role of third parties in recruiting,” Slive said. “There is a concern in football that in the sport of basketball there is a lot of involvement of third parties in recruiting. There is a sense in football by the coaches that there is a bit of creep (of third parties), and we think it’s in or best interest to do what we can to stop it.”
DIVISIONS DONE: The presidents approved a proposal by the league’s men’s basketball coaches to eliminate the East and West divisions. The teams will be ranked Nos. 1-12 in the league standings this year and the top four teams will receive a first-round bye in the SEC tournament.
The decision doesn’t affect the scheduling this year because the schedule is virtually complete, Slive said. A task force of athletic directors and basketball coaches will determine how the league will schedule in future years. Slive is in favor of an 18-game schedule, he said.
TV DEAL: Slive is “very comfortable” with the state of the conference’s television deal. The SEC has a $3 billion agreement with CBS and ESPN but is no longer the national leader in television money.
“We had 415 televised events last year between CBS and the ESPN family of networks,” Slive said. “That was a critical piece.”
The SEC’s TV contracts have periodic “look-ins” where all the terms can be evaluated.
“If we need to make adjustments, we can,” Slive said. “That’s as far as I’m going to go with where we are in our television agreements.”
MORE COWBELL: After considering a ban on Mississippi State’s favorite noisemakers, the presidents agreed to extend the rule allowing Bulldogs fans to ring the bells during certain times during football games.
“It was clear that the fans violated our rule in at least the first two games (last season), but there was very significant improvement in the last two.”
The school was fined $30,000 for its two violations last year.
QUIET, FOR NOW: Conference expansion was not discussed this week, Slive said.
“I will never say never, but when I go to work every day, it’s just not one of those things that is on my plate and it hasn’t been,” he said. “However, we’ll stay alert.”