While we’re debating who’s in line to have an awkward week in Hoover, don’t forget to add the supreme commander’s name to the list.
But just as the SEC’s superiority has resurfaced, so has its history of unflattering off-field drama.
A little more than a year after former commissioner Mike Slive retired having reached his longstanding goal of a probation-free SEC, Ole Miss now faces a far-reaching infractions case that could significantly impact its surprising recent football success. Missouri has spent recent months dealing with major infractions in men’s basketball. And in April, Alabama parted ways with one of its best recruiters in defensive line coach Bo Davis due to NCAA rules violations, though it seems unlikely there will be further penalties assessed to the school.
Meanwhile, after the SEC positioned itself as a leader on domestic violence with a rule relating to transfers, Mississippi State decided to allow the enrollment of five-star recruit Jeffery Simmons, who had been videotaped pummeling a woman, instead giving him a one-game suspension.
And just last week, Tennessee settled a Federal Title IX lawsuit for $2.48 million with eight women who alleged they had been physically or sexually assaulted by athletes between 2013 and 2015.
Though commissioner Greg Sankey will likely use the bulk of his annual address Monday to tout the league’s on-field achievements and academic benchmarks, this has not been an ideal offseason for the SEC’s image.
No shit, Sherlock. Though I’m sure Sankey will be the epitome of open, honest discussion about that in response to media questioning.
And those issues aren’t going away, even as the games loom closer. (Sankey, through a spokesperson, declined the opportunity to talk about them until his regular media availability Monday.)
Er, maybe he’ll stick to a few prepared remarks and not take questions. Is Stacey Osburn doing anything this week?