Category Archives: SEC Football

Mark Richt’s Open Records request

Jon Solomon fleshes out a lot more details about what people in the SEC are concerned about when it comes to the COA calculations each school goes through.  There really is a lot involved.

Auburn has one of the SEC’s highest cost-of attendance averages at $5,586. However, even that figure is not a one-size, fits-all calculation and can vary based on whether the student is in-state or out-of-state and whether there are other personal needs provided to the financial aid office, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said.

“If you live in Birmingham and I live in Auburn, if I go through the financial aid process, my number could be lower than yours because I live closer to Auburn,” Jacobs said. “But if I have a child, then my child care could increase and you may not. Ours is an average number so it could fluctuate.”

Mississippi State has an average cost of attendance figure of $5,156. Bulldogs athletic director Scott Stricklin supports SEC schools sharing within the league who’s getting cost of attendance exceptions, how much those exceptions are worth, and how often players receive them.

“To me, that’s helpful to know,” Stricklin said. “If our campus is rewarding on average four to six appeals per semester and all of a sudden our student-athletes have 40 to 50 winning appeals, I’d think if I’m another school I’d want to know that.”

So, yeah, enquiring minds – in this case SEC coaches and ADs – want to know.  And Mark Richt wants to get all Pork Rind Jimmy over it.

“I’m curious to know how they get to their numbers,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt, whose school’s cost of attendance average is $3,221 for in-state students and $3,746 for out-of-state. “I’m sure a lot of people are curious about that. Do you (reporters) want to know? You got open records law? Can you all ask and find out?”

Um… guys, I don’t think he’s kidding there.  Help a head coach out.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

The SEC gets a little more transparent.

This kind of slid under the radar.

The SEC also passed legislation that will aid transparency in understanding the full cost of attendance stipends that will be given to athletes. Those figures, which are based on formulas from each school’s financial aid office, have produced variations as much as $3,000 per year within the SEC. Earlier this week, Alabama coach Nick Saban called for a cap on cost of attendance (the federal judge who ruled in the Ed O’Bannon case made that impossible) and said the differences invited fraud.

Under the new SEC rules, each school will provide an annual report to the conference office describing the methodology used to come up with cost of attendance figures and explaining any individual case in which an athlete’s individual cost of attendance figure is above the school’s published average.

It’s a start, and under the circumstances, probably the best outcome that could have been expected.

I can’t wait to read some of the explanations from the usual suspects, though.


Filed under SEC Football

“I know the first question you’re going to ask.”

Actually, Steve Shaw, yours isn’t my first question.

Mine is why it took you guys so long to take what is an obvious step in going to eight-man officiating crews.

… The conference first shifted to seven-person crews in 1986, and Shaw said it was high time to add another official since the game has changed significantly since that time.

“In 1986, we still had teams running the wishbone. The veer was probably the most prevalent offense out there. Yes, the game has changed,” Shaw said.

“Nobody had heard of the spread back then. Nobody thought to send five receivers out on a route. Well now, obviously we’ve got the spread, we’ve got tempo, people all over the field, and it’s a tougher game to officiate.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it’s finally being done.  But wouldn’t it have been nice if someone in a position to do so had told Bobby Gaston to get his head out of his ass a decade ago?


Filed under SEC Football

“The sentiment was very clear. There wasn’t a lot of debate at the end.”

Wow, color me shocked.  Seriously.

The SEC has adopted immdiately a proposal by Georgia to ban transfers of players who have been dismissed by their former school for “serious misconduct.”

Such misconduct is outlined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence. It does not specify felonies or misdemeanors.

But the “trigger point” for the rule being applicable is if the player had “been subject to official university or athletics department disciplinary action at any time” during his time at the school.

I didn’t think they had it in them.

The trigger point is what gets around the “innocent until proven guilty” roadblock.  Again, you wonder what happens in the case of a player who bails on a school before he can be disciplined.  But I guess they’ll deal with that scenario when it happens.

Did I mention I’m shocked?  I really am.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

It’s what makes the game so great.

You know, sometimes you sit back and reflect on the changes, the upheaval and the disruption that’s roiled college football the past few years and it’s troubling.  Then you see something like this and realize it was all worth it.

Oh, wait.  You thought I was talking about the fans?  Suckers.


Filed under SEC Football

“There’s only so much security you can put out there.”

Since 2004, only five SEC schools – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Texas A&M – have managed to avoid being fined by the conference for fans rushing the field/court post-game.  The SEC’s response?  Jack up the fines.

The previous penalties started at $5,000 for first-time offenders and increased to $25,000 for second violations and up to $50,000 fines for third and subsequent offenses.

The new system is expected to be finalized this week at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, and there have been discussions about increasing the initial fine to $50,000.

What exactly do they expect that to fix?

“The SEC, I think, for a long time has tried to take a leadership role there,” Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley said. “If we end up increasing the fines and putting a better message out there to your fans that we need to win and be excited and we don’t need to do that because it’s not safe when people rush the field …”

Yes, I’m sure that a school paying more in fines will be the message that makes drunk college kids stop and think in the midst of celebrating, “goodness, we don’t need to do that”.

You’d do better to have security walk around the crowd handing out tickets to them for being on the field.  At least you might recoup some of that $50K.


Filed under SEC Football

The SEC Way

Georgia’s proposal to ban players from transferring within the conference if they have been disciplined for serious misconduct is likely to be “tabled”.

Why, you ask?  Well, for one thing, there’s that “innocent until proven guilty” crapola the presidents can’t seem to get a handle on.

During Thursday’s meeting, several SEC presidents and chancellors who are lawyers questioned what would happen if a player arrested is not convicted on such charges, Pastides said.

“That was the complexity — what about innocent until proven guilty?” Pastides said. “That’s what we have to work out with the ADs. I think that universities need to be held to a different standard than just what the law says. I do agree that those (violence) issues are much more serious than, for example, you get arrested for drinking underage or speeding or smoking pot. So I do think we need to take a different stand on these.”

But the real hold up is that the SEC office doesn’t want to touch this with a ten-foot pole.

“I’ve always been opposed to the conference having the authority or requirement to sanction a student at an institution for behavior unrelated to athletics,” Slive said. “That’s something I wouldn’t want, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for the conference office to be involved in that kind of assessment. That belongs on the campus. I made that abundantly clear.”

Translation:  I don’t need Roger Goodell’s headaches, thank you very much.  You don’t want these kids, presidents?  Then you keep ’em off your campuses.

The problem with that, as Dan Wolken neatly summarizes, is simple.

But the fact player discipline is now on the table for discussion suggests SEC schools no longer trust each other (or perhaps themselves) to act in the best interest of the conference when they have to decide whether a player with serious baggage is worth the trouble.

Yeah, that’s a real dilemma.  But there’s an obvious way out:  make Jimmy Williamson the next conference commissioner.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football