These are exciting times for the SEC’s student-athletes, friends.
In a new twist for the SEC, five athletes are going to participate during portions of this week’s meetings: Arkansas women’s tennis player Flavia Arajo, Ole Miss baseball player Brady Bramlett, ex-Mississippi State football player Jay Hughes, Tennessee women’s basketball player Diamond DeShields, and Texas A&M swimmer Antoine Marc. Three of them are the SEC’s representatives for NCAA autonomy voting. Sankey described the athletes’ presence this week as a “voice opportunity” for them with administrators.
And what’s this “voice opportunity” you speak of, Commish?
The SEC plans to create athlete leadership councils to engage players’ ideas. What this doesn’t signify, at least not yet, is SEC athletes having votes on conference issues, as the Pac-12 now allows.
“That’s not developed yet — not to say it will or won’t,” Sankey said. “One of the challenges is given the seasons and schedules, how do you interact with football and men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes? We’ve been intentional about wanting to implement something that is fresh and that’s sustainable.”
One thing I might note besides the utter toothlessness of the proposal is that it’s kind of hard to interact with your football and men’s basketball student-athletes when you don’t even bother to invite them to your spring meetings.
Then, again, I suppose in certain quarters that’s a feature, not a bug.