Yep, it’s time for the SEC’s spring meetings down on the Gulf. So, what’s on the menu this time? A little of this, a little of that…
It’s a topic that emerged this spring following comments Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby made in April as the chairman of the Football Oversight Committee.
For the second straight year, expect the SEC to discuss the possibility of allowing alcohol sales at on-campus sporting events, a practice has taken off elsewhere in recent years.
Graduate transfers have been a hot topic across college football over the last several years, but after facing some complicated issues in the last year, it appears the SEC is ready to take steps to addressing its own transfer policy.
Anything on that list strike you as something that can be settled in a few days?
Because Malik Zaire is rumored to be ready to become a Florida Gator, expect a lot of effort to be put into changing the current transfer rules, because the status quo is jamming up the Gators.
Another proposed change would revise the penalty from three years to one for schools being restricted from taking a graduate transfer when a previous graduate transfer did not meet a benchmark for showing progress toward a graduate degree.
Under the current rule, Florida would not be able to take Notre Dame quarterback transfer Malik Zaire because Mason Halter and Andrew Harrell failed to meet the league’s academic standards after transferring in for the 2015 season.
“I do think we need to look where we’ve been restrictive in the past because of the absence of national rules and look at reducing some of those restrictions,” Sankey told the Dooley and Collett radio show in Gainesville, according to 247Sports. “I’m one who would position it as interest in freeing things up without just removing every restraint, because I think the restraints have been healthy for us.”
The new rule would eliminate provisions of the graduate student exception that said the athlete must complete at least nine hours of graduate level coursework in their first term to be eligible in the following term. That goes further than the national standard and can mean a loss of APR points. Instead, the SEC would follow current NCAA rules that a graduate student would complete six hours toward their graduate degree program to be eligible.
If the NCAA mountain won’t come to the SEC’s Mohammed, you know what that means is about to happen. Welcome to Gainesville, kid.
That’s going to be the easy part. The hard part will be the fight over transfers within the conference. Somebody is real concerned about that.
Saban isn’t a fan of graduate transfers going from one league school to another being able to play immediately.
“I don’t think we should have free agency in our league,” he said. “The rule that we have that did not allow guys to transfer to other SEC schools I think is a benefit to all schools in the league and it’s the right competitive balance and mix. When you play in the NFL, you can’t just say I’m going to pick up and go play somewhere else. I think that’s a good rule.”
That’s because there’s this thing in the NFL called a contract, Nick. You’ve probably heard of them. In fact, you just signed a new one yourself. Good to see, though, that you’re not trying to run a it’s good for the players, too scam here. In fact, this sounds kinda cold.
Wide receiver Chris Black also was a graduate transfer who left Alabama and went to Missouri.
“I don’t know how much it benefitted them,” Saban said. “I can’t speak to that.”
Bless your heart.
Meanwhile, Greg Sankey would like to add his measured, principled voice to the discussion.
“This will be the first meaningful conversation that we’ve had since the proliferation of graduate transfers has happened nationally,” Sankey said. “I expect our membership to have a pretty meaningful conversation about the right perspective on graduate transfers entering the SEC from outside and then the topic of inter-conference transfers.”
Sankey believes the SEC can find a way to allow more graduate transfers and barring a team from signing another one for a period of time if a transfer doesn’t complete their academic requirements.
“A football player that enrolls as a graduate student and never goes to class, that’s not healthy,” Sankey said. “We want to tend more toward our Canyon Barrys.”
That would really be meaningful if you weren’t so willing to turn a blind eye towards the likes of Ben Simmons and the occasional one-and-doners who come to the SEC simply to mark time until they can turn pro. At least those graduate students you pontificate about have a fucking degree to show for it.
Have fun on the beach.