This part of Mike Slive’s schtick about the oversigning legislation he’s fashioned for Destin is getting a bit tiresome.
QUESTION: Will there be action?
ANSWER: There will be action because you know they will come forth as proposed legislation for the presidents, the ADs and the other groups to opine on. But I feel good about them, so I think the goal is to make sure that our prospective student-athletes are treated in a way that is as they should be treated, like students our treated. And I think this package does that.
QUESTION: Mark Richt and others at Georgia and Florida, among others, have said they dislike over-signing and won’t do it. Steve Spurrier has come out and said he needs to do it, and Nick Saban is on that side of the issue, too. Do you see where each of them is coming from?
ANSWER: Well we’ve had some discussions to get the proposed legislation in place. I can tell you that the first amendment in the Southeastern Conference is alive and well.
If Tony Barnhart is correct in his head count (which is the same as the one John Pennington came up with the other day), Slive is going to have to do a lot more than talk if he expects a change to be made.
… The presidents of the 12 SEC institutions will cast the final votes on this package. But if they defer to their head football coaches, I’ve got the vote at 7-5 against any kind of radical change to the status quo, where schools can sign as many as 28 players regardless of how many actual football scholarships they have available.
This is very unscientific but here is my best stab at it.
Status quo: The head coaches at Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, and Arkansas are all on record as believing the current system is appropriate and fair. Auburn and Mississippi State will go with their state rivals. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier says he needs to over-sign because of the academics in his state.
Change: Florida and Georgia have publicly come out against over-signing. Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt will agree.
Note that Barnhart is only making a count on oversigning. Slive hints that his package goes farther than that, to what he calls “roster management”. The bigger the package, the harder it would seem to keep the support of the five schools Barnhart lists in place.
Unless the conference presidents are ready to buck the advice of their football coaches. That doesn’t seem particularly likely, but it might be worth keeping an eye on coaches’ comments leading up to the meetings. As well as whether Slive keeps trying to impress us with his Constitutional scholarship.