Category Archives: SEC Football

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

“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

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

Thanks, Baylor.

If you figured the release of Ole Miss’ response to an NCAA notice of allegations was being deliberately timed to follow in the wake left behind of the Baylor news means it’s probably not good, hey, give yourself a cigar!

It’s that bad.

The Rebels self-imposed the loss of 11 total scholarships in football over a four-year period from 2016-19, including a reduction of three initial scholarships in each of their next three recruiting classes, which would allow them to sign a maximum of 22 players in each class.

The Rebels also previously self-imposed a ban on unofficial visits from Feb. 21, 2016, to March 31, 2016, a 10 percent reduction in off-campus evaluation days for coaches during the 2015 evaluation period (from 168 days to 151) and a 12.5 percent reduction during the 2016 evaluation period.

Thirteen of the 28 NCAA allegations involve the football program. Eight were Level 1 violations, the most severe — four allegedly during the Hugh Freeze era and four under the previous coaching staff.

If you’d prefer it in 140 characters,

I guess somebody took Hugh up on that tweet.

The worst part of this is that they still haven’t gotten to the Tunsil draft night stuff.

In a letter posted on the university’s website on Friday morning, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork and chancellor Jeffrey Vitter wrote that the school has requested that its case be delayed in light of allegations made by former Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil at last month’s NFL draft in Chicago.

Bjork and Vitter wrote that they’ve asked the NCAA not to require the school to appear in front of the Committee on Infractions this summer so it would have ample time to investigate whether or not Tunsil, a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins, received improper benefits while playing at Ole Miss.

“On the first day of the 2016 NFL Draft, new information came to light involving a former football student-athlete,” the letter said. “That very night, the University and NCAA began a joint review to determine whether bylaws have been violated, and we hope this review will be concluded soon. To ensure fairness to all parties and pursuant to [Committee on Infractions] procedure, we have asked the COI to remove the hearing from this summer’s docket until this review can be completed and closed.”

“More to come” doesn’t do this justice.  I guess Bjork is hoping there’s another school’s big scandal in the future he can slipstream behind.  Looks like he’ll need it.

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Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

“Improving the camp environment”

The SEC’s spring meetings start next week.  Judging from this, it sounds like they’ll be spending a lot of the time there discussing satellite camps, because, well… they’re satellite camps.

“The concerns are still there,” Sankey said in an interview with The Associated Press. “When it was a relatively small practice, it was fine. Some will argue that there’s a lot of instruction and development that occurs. Well, that may be true in some cases. But when I talk to our coaches who now have 10-15 calls a day, it starts to become an unhealthy activity.

“And it really is about recruiting. I’m hoping that if the solutions are identified by Sept. 1. We’ll certainly talk about different strategies next week that are attentive to the full scope of issues here.”

… In other words, there remains room for debate and perhaps change. Sankey certainly doesn’t feel the issue is closed.

“If you look at what the board of directors said in its press release, that language from the board agreed with our position, just not that outcome,” Sankey said. “Which seems to raise the issue of why do we have a rule in men’s basketball that we pursuing in football around non-institutional camps. It wasn’t about geography.

“We’ve never once complained about individuals coming in and recruiting. You know what, on an ad hoc basis somebody will say, ‘We don’t want them stealing our kids.’ But they say that about each other in our league. It’d be nice if we’d keep all of our players but I don’t think anybody’s under the notion that that’s realistic.”

Is there a coherent line of thought somewhere in there?  No wonder they’re going to spend so much time on the subject – Sankey can’t even figure out what to say in defense of what the conference wants.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Can’t tell the coaches without a scorecard.

This summary of the coaching staff changes in the SEC this offseason is amazing, not just because Ole Miss is the only program without a single new coach, but also because only three others didn’t replace a coordinator.  Makes you wonder how chaotic the early part of the season will be, as both opponents and the new coaches themselves acclimate to their present surroundings.

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Uncle Verne’s heir apparent?

There have been rumors floating around for a few weeks that Brad Nessler was preparing to jump ship from ESPN to CBS, where he would eventually succeed Uncle Verne on that network’s SEC broadcasts.

Evidently, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

One interesting point to me…

So Nessler’s giving up calling playoff games in return for getting the shot to do the SECCG play-by-play.  Interesting set of priorities, no?

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football