Today, in meaningless euphemisms

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.”

Oh.

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.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, SEC Football

Are we witnessing the end of the “Just win, baby” era?

Ivan Maisel believes we’re at the dawning of a new age of accountability in college athletics.

Mark this day down. Turn the corner of this page in the college football family bible. Someone in the gridiron-industrial complex stood up and said some standards are more important than winning.

Baylor will fire head coach Art Briles, who in the past five years has won 50 games and two Big 12 Conference championships. The university also forced president Kenneth Starr to relinquish the job and reprimanded athletic director Ian McCaw. But Starr will be university chancellor, and McCaw will still be AD. Briles received the harshest punishment…

… Briles’ dismissal is different from Barry Switzer being forced out at Oklahoma, or Jim Tressel at Ohio State, to name two other highly successful coaches who lost their jobs because of their program’s misdeeds off the field. Oklahoma and Ohio State live among the blue bloods of the sport. Both programs regained their status within college football and maintain it to the present day.

You know what else is different?  Money is at stake at Baylor.  Lots of money, both in terms of the existing lawsuits and the federal threat of withholding funds due to Title IX noncompliance.  Tressel made the mistake of lying to the NCAA, which is a long way off from the ugly situation in Waco.

So, yeah,

We demand greater adherence to community standards of good behavior. Coaches must treat players well. Players must treat other students with respect. The double standard is the exception, no longer the rule.

But FSU just swung through another ugly situation with Jameis Winston and last I checked, nobody’s lost a job there.  And don’t get me started on the doings at Tennessee, other than to say if there’s ultimately a settlement, we’ll see how many heads roll as a result.

Old habits die hard, you know.  I expect this one’s got a little life left in it.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

“The rule that was passed at the last spring meeting was a first step.”

It appears the SEC is being scared straight by the goings on at Baylor.  The Jonathan Taylor rule may be expanded.

For the second straight year, the SEC at its spring meetings will take up the issue of serious misconduct of prospective transfers. Presidents and athletic directors next week will consider adding additional language to a league rule adopted last year.

The league already barred transfers who were disciplined at a previous institution for sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence from playing at a league school and now would add language to include “dating violence or stalking and conduct that raises serious concerns about the safety of others.”

The language recommended by a student-athlete conduct working group expands the scope to include not just transfers dismissed from a school but it would also bar transfers who were convicted of, pled guilty or no contest to a serious misconduct felony.

Man, that could put a real crimp on recruiting at Second Chance U.

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Filed under SEC Football

About that whole “playoffs mean better scheduling” thingy…

Eh, maybe not so much.

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Filed under College Football

Ask an expert.

After all, he should know.

Not LSU. Not Alabama. Georgia is “Running Back U,” said Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who played for the Bulldogs.

Approached by a TMZ Sports camera crew and asked about incoming Georgia freshman running back Elijah Holyfield, the son of former heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield, Gurley worked his way up to proclaiming Georgia as Running Back U.

“That’s what we do at Georgia; we breed running backs,” Gurley said. “We’re Running Back U. LSU might think they’re Running Back U. Y’all after us, and then maybe Bama.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

Has Greg Sankey seen the results of Hugh Freeze’s colonoscopy?

Jon Solomon links back to a Pat Forde piece from January after the NCAA announced its formal charges against Ole Miss in which Forde wrote,

Mississippi’s football recruiting successes in recent years under Freeze have taken the Southeastern Conference by storm – and rankled some rivals. Multiple SEC coaches and administrators have voiced concerns about Ole Miss to the conference office, sources said. Shortly before National Signing Day in 2013, Freeze took to Twitter and challenged anyone who had facts showing the Rebels were breaking rules to email the school’s compliance office.  [Emphasis added.]

Just wondering where our Brave Sir Greg is with this, now that the school has admitted there are legitimate grounds for those concerns.  At times like this, Stacey Osburn can come in mighty handy.  Maybe Emmert can lend out her services.

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Filed under SEC Football