Mike Slive and the SEC Twelve play their newest hit, “Oversigning Blues”.

While we’re on the subject of cynicism and college football this morning, I think those who are getting excited about Seth Emerson’s report that Mike Slive intends to put oversigning legislation on the table at the SEC spring meetings in Destin might want to take a deep breath and read MaconDawg’s parsing of Slive’s comments.

Here are three things to keep in mind as the end of May approaches.

  1. Nobody really knows what Mike Slive is thinking.  I’m sure we’ll see more of the “Mike Slive is 72 and is looking to cement his legacy” stuff that John Pennington pitches here (the Tony Barnhart column just about writes itself, doesn’t it?), but who’s to say that clamping down on oversigning is what he has in mind?  This may be little more than a gesture which allows Slive to say he took a stab at a PR problem, much to the media’s approval.  If nothing else, that’ll sure give the assembled multitudes something to write about for a week or so.
  2. Slive has a lot of convincing to do.  Pennington’s head count is 7-5 against proposed legislation.  If anything, Pennington may be a little generous with the level of support, as I would expect Kentucky to line up with the opposition.  But even if you grant that Pennington’s numbers are spot on, which schools among that bunch will Slive be able to turn from the dark side?  And based on what arguments?
  3. The broader the proposal, the harder the task.  Slive told Emerson, “We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues, that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion.”  In other words, he’s not nibbling around the edges with his legislation.  How far it goes we don’t know, but the more he tosses in, the less likely it is that he’ll get anything to pass.  It’s one thing to ask Georgia to approve legislation that puts teeth into limits on grayshirting and oversigning, but how do you think the school would take to a proposal that prohibits it from placing players at JUCOs?  Answer:  not enthusiastically.  (The cynic in me wonders if Slive might overreach purposefully to sabotage his own proposal.)

I don’t know how this is going to play out.  As I said yesterday, I’m a little surprised that Slive has taken the offensive, but while that sells well in the media, it also gives the Alabamas and South Carolinas plenty of time to prepare their defenses.  One thing I do know about Slive is that he’s a consummate politician, which means he’s accomplished at knowing his constituents and counting heads.  If the support for change isn’t there, he’ll quickly regroup and move on.  Were I a betting man, I’d still put my money on the establishment of a study group when the dust settles.

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11 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

11 responses to “Mike Slive and the SEC Twelve play their newest hit, “Oversigning Blues”.

  1. Slive is the guy who (along with the ACC commish) took a doomed-from-the-start Plus One plan in front of the other conference commissioners for a vote. If nothing else, he knows what proposing ill-fated legislation is like.

    • He’s also the guy who managed to turn Bernie Machen back on his own playoff proposal after it was clear there was little support. The man knows how to engineer an exit.

  2. crap sandwich

    Slive is slick. He is a politician that knows the ropes. I expect absolutely nothing to come out of Destin. Your idea of a committee being formed is the MOST we should expect out of these meetings. Personally, think it is all lip service, to appease the media into thinking something will come from this. This is little more than kicking the can down the road.

  3. ChicagoDawg

    Mike Slive is the CFB equivalent of Montgomery Burns…plotting, scheming, strategizing… unfortunately it is rarely an effort at doing the right thing.

  4. Will Trane

    I wonder how the University presidents ever approved of a Mike Slive. The SEC has faired well under him. The question is could it have done a hellva lot better. Without a doubt. How long is the SEC going to keep him in fold at their detriment.
    At the SEC media days I could care less what the coaches say. I’d ask the real decision makers…the ADs.
    My question for CMR? How in hell do you keep making the same mistakes with your offensive line. Since CMR has been at UGA the O line and the D line have never really cut it. If you want a professional opinion of what a O line should look like, I’d ask two guys who really know. I’d ask Belue and Lastinger. They operated behind some of the best in UGA history. Why then and not now…at least lately.
    My question to CMR. “Last season coming out of the media days and in August, Coach you said ‘you would be surprised if the Dawgs did not run the ball well'”. Well Coach you did not run the ball well. Now that you have taken two hits along the line even before you get to media days, what is your thoughts about running the ball well, or even passing the ball well?
    Coach can you oversign on the O line for awhile?

  5. Dog in Fla

    Gates and Mullen tell Slive to stop leaking the details of his “Roster Management’ operations manual pre-Destin.

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/05/18/gates_and_mullen_stop_leaking_details_of_the_bin_laden_raid

    Slive responds that the leaks will give the SEC West and Steve the opportunity to save face when they reject the plan after it is disseminated to them in Destin by saying “the covers of this book are too far apart” (h/t Ambrose Bierce), we need a study committee to actually read this thing because we are not and will revisit that committee’s non-binding recommendations in 2012.

    Notwithstanding that, Slive’s manual is not the only new publication set for release this Summer on which the covers are too far apart

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/05/19/dick-cheney-book-cover-unveiled/

  6. I read MaconDawg’s parsing, I just don’t happen to agree with him, for a variety of reasons. First of all, as you noted, Mike Slive is a pretty canny individual who’s near the end of his career. I don’t think he wants one of his last acts to be a resounding rejection by his conference presidents.

    I’m also skeptical of any effort to count votes on a proposal like this without taking into account what internal discussions might be. Besides, there’s no competitive disadvantage if everyone jumps off the ledge at the same time. And while I know it’s dangerous to count on the morals of college football officials, maybe they will actually decide to just do the right thing.

  7. DawgVegas

    Stewart Mandel weighed in at SI.com, complete with quotes from Coach Richt from the Greenville gathering.

  8. Texas_Dawg

    Not really fair to just dismiss Slive like that.

    He’s not a bad guy, and his statements of late regarding oversigning indicate he clearly now understands the SEC has a serious image problem on the matter; one that is greatly tarnishing the names and reputations of its schools.

    He knows this issue is only going to get worse for the SEC if the conference does not make serious moves to end the problem.

    As we know from history, the state of Alabama will always stall, barricade doors, fight, and do whatever else it can to fight off progress. But eventually enough of the rest of America will be roused to have to once again go waste its time and energy bringing the state of Alabama up to basic standards of human decency, especially where its long marginalized African-American communities are predominantly the victims of its indecency (as is, once again, the case here).

    Mike Slive isn’t an Alabaman, even if he unfortunately has to live there for now. So while he’s no doubt willing to concede to Alabama on some things, there’s no indication that he isn’t a decent person, and thus there’s no reason to think he will ever jump to Alabama’s side on an issue that will once again be one in which Alabama loses out to human progress.

  9. Dave

    Did you get a speeding ticket on I-85 or something?

    Last I checked, Georgia’s the state which funnels college money from poor neighborhoods (predominantly A-A) to middle class white kids to attend college via the lottery. Not that any state in the South has much claim over the other when it comes to this sort of thing.

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The best thing I saw in this post is that Slime…er…Slive is 72. Maybe the old SOB will die soon and the SEC will get someone honest to be the next commish.