Tag:Mike Slive
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Slive to push oversigning legislation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

That SEC standoff over oversigning we mentioned earlier this week? It's going to come to a head at the upcoming league meetings in Destin (Fla.), and it sounds as if if Mike Slive has his way, the conference is going to put some serious legislative brakes on the practice.

That news comes straight from Slive himself, who this week told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that a "package" of legislation aimed at regulating "roster management" would be on the table in Destin ... and that he's hopeful it passes:
"[I]t’s more than just the question of over-signing or grayshirting,” Slive said. “It’s a question of over-signing, grayshirting, early admissions, summer school admission. We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues, that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion. So then it will be an important discussion item in Destin ...

"I think the goal is to make sure that our prospective student-athletes are treated in a way that is as they should be treated, like students our [sic] treated. And I think this package does that ..."

Slive indicated that more debate has gone on behind the scenes.

“Well, we’ve had some discussions to get the proposed legislation in place. I can tell you that the First Amendment in the Southeastern Conference is alive and well,” he said. “I have a view and not a vote. And I will certainly exercise my view. ... I like this legislation."
Whether he has a vote or not, that Slive will be pushing for reform should do plenty to boost the package's legislative chances.

It's not a surprise, though, that Slive is at the forefront of the issue. Whether fair or not, there's no debating that the SEC has become the representative face of oversigning thanks to the combination of oversized classes, high-profile grayshirting issues, and its prominence within college football. Already sensitive to accusations from the likes of the Big Ten's Jim Delany that the league doesn't take its classroom reponsibilities seriously enough, Slive must surely feel -- as the SEC's presidents must as well -- that the conference can't let the oversigning issue continue to stereotype it as a place where academic standards are trampled in the name of football.

Beyond that, Slive may also need to push the legislation through to prevent a full-on war of words between his conference's own coaches. When within a week of one making oversigning references to a rival coach so thinly veiled he can't even finish said reference without a fan spoiling it for him, another is straightforwardly exiling five players as part of a post-spring "scholarship evaluation," conflict is inevitable.

Slive should be commended for tackling the issue head-on. But if he can't get his proposed package through the voting process, he's going to have some serious damage control to do ... both in the public eye outside the league, and in the not-so-civil public discourse within it.

Posted on: May 15, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2011 2:29 pm
 

Richt: oversigning 'an awful thing to do'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Could the SEC be headed towards a showdown over oversigning?

Mike Slive has promised the league will "take a look" at stronger measures to address the issue during its annual spring meeting, and you don't have to squint to see two factions forming as regards that "look": one featuring coaches like Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier (amongst others) who have defended their use of "grayshirts," and one with Florida president Bernie Machen and Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity who would like to see it prohibited.

So where does Mark Richt's allegiances in this potential battle lie? If McGarity's position didn't already make them plain, his comments to a Greenville (S.C.) gathering of Bulldog alumni this past week put them beyond all doubt:
"If you sign a class, you can only bring in as many as you have room for, so let's say you have 85 on scholarship and let's say you have 15 seniors graduating. Well, there's only 15 more spots for 85, you can sign 25 guys, by rule, and in February you can sign those 25 guys," Richt said. "Now, by the time that season starts, you may have more attrition, five more guys may leave for whatever reason, may go pro, transfer, so let's say you're down to 20.

"You've got 20 spaces but you've still signed 25. Well, you can bring them in during the summer, work them and let your strength staff work with them, and decide which ones you like the best. The other five, you can tell them, 'Hey, we know we signed you, we expect you to come in, but we don't have space for you, we're sorry, but you have to leave and come back in January.'"

After a brief pause, Richt gave his feelings on that particular tactic.

"I think that's an awful thing to do," Richt said. "It's nothing that we have ever done since we've been at Georgia."
Of course, with his very next breath, Richt admitted that he had "talked to a kid about grayshirting" before Signing Day, in the unlikely event the Bulldogs roster remained too full for fall enrollment. (He said that despite those discussions, the Bulldogs' recruits had all "come in with their class.") It'd an admission that illustrates how difficult legislating change would be for Slive and proponents like Machen. How do you write a rule that differentiates between the kind of agreed-upon-by-all-parties scenario Richt describes, and a case like LSU's Elliott Porter, who last August was asked to move out of his LSU dorm room after Les Miles ran out of scholarships?

We're not sure. But given his vehemence, it sounds like Richt will be perfectly happy to see Slive and Co. try ... or simply do away with grayshirting all together.

HT: the AJC.

Posted on: May 5, 2011 4:00 pm
 

SEC to donate $500,000 to tornado relief

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Are there any sports fans in America more completely devoted to their competition of choice than SEC fans are to their football?

We're going to say no, and so it's only appropriate that the conference has repaid a small part of that devotion today by announcing a $500,000 donation to the University of Alabama to aid its relief efforts in the wake of last week's tornado disaster. The conference issued a release including the following statements:
“Our hearts go out to all the victims of these recent tornados but especially to our academic colleagues and their students,” said Dr. Bernie Machen , President of the University of Florida and the Southeastern Conference. “While we compete fiercely in athletics we also support each other fiercely in times of need. The efforts of the conference and our institutions will help alleviate the effects of this devastating catastrophe" ...

“The tornados that went through Tuscaloosa have severely impacted the lives of students, faculty and staff of the University of Alabama, and will continue to do so for months to come,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “We express our sympathies and prayers to everyone who has been impacted by this storm and we are pleased to be able to assist in the recovery efforts.”
The league has also encouraged its fans to donate to the university's "Acts of Kindness" fund, available here, which has been "established to support an emergency-assistance program for university faculty, staff and students."

It goes without saying, however, that even $500,000 is only a drop in the bucket of what is needed to help the South rebuild from the deadliest U.S. disaster since Katrina. Please consider donating $10 by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 or visiting redcross.org.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), 4/22

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.

FOUR LINKS

1.
Want a quarterback? Like Clemson's Tajh Boyd (pictured)? You might want to head to the state of Virginia, which despite its relatively small recruiting profile could produce starters at as many as seven different BCS programs, including potential national title contenders Alabama and Florida State. (The class of 2012 might tend more towards wideouts, though; both the Virginia-based members of Tom Lemming's top 100 are receivers.)

2. Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier is a funny guy. On why the Broncos are joining the Mountain West rather than the Pac-12: "We’ve applied for membership into the NFL. … The truth is schools must be invited into a conference. You don’t get to just join a conference like you can go and join Costco.” Of course, it was his less-amusing, more-serious remarks on the lack of a college football playoff that made headlines.

3. We found out this week that both Auburn and Alabama are going to take a trip to the White House this year; the Tigers to see President Obama as national champions, of course, but Penn State announced that the Tide's Week 2 visit to Beaver Stadium will also be to a "White House." It will the first white-out for the Nittany Lions since 2009, but they maybe should have picked a different opponent, at least if the Tide's infamous 2008 throttling of Georgia during a "black-out" is in any way indicative.

4. The lead item in this Tulsa World post-spring notebook on Oklahoma concerns the Sooners trying to fill the Thanksgiving week hole in their schedule, but the most interesting item comes at the notebook's end, when we discover that Bob Stoops once hitchhiked "several hundred miles" to see Bob Seger in concert.

"I put the name of the city on some cardboard around my tennis racket," Stoops said, "and went out to the highway, held up the racket and hitched a ride to the concert." So if he ever chooses to kick against the wind for no apparent reason, you'll know why.

AND A CLOUD ...

Navy's spring game will air tonight on our own CBS Sports Network, with a few twists ... And speaking of the Midshipmen, Ken Niumatalolo has signed a long-term extension , though the non-release of details means we don't know for much or for how long ...The first wave of Ohio State Tatgate smack shirts is hitting store racks and Internet shopping carts ...  Colorado was the first school to go all-HD this spring when it comes to practice film, a move that's made post-practice film study much quicker and easier, the Buff coaches say ... Mike Slive reiterates that he expects the SEC to "do something more than we have done up to now" to curb oversigning ... Yes, Virginia, it is possible for a football program to attend the Humanitarian Bowl and turn a profit; Northern Illinois (somehow) just did it ... The go-to reporter for news on Chad Bumphis's ankle injury scare at Mississippi State was Chad Bumphis ... Every school keeps things simple during their spring games, but "simple" means something different at Boise State ... A look at which SEC schools are getting the biggest financial boost from their boosters ... All-American Big 12 receiver Justin Blackmon interviews All-American Big 12 receiver Ryan Broyles, and finds out Broyles' favorite XBox game is FIFA?!?


Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:41 pm
 

The SEC gets richer

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Considering that the SEC is already a BCS conference, and is located throughout an area of the country that is absolutely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs about college football, it's not exactly surprising to find out that the conference brings in quite a bit of revenue through football. You take a look at the packed houses in The Swamp, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tiger Stadium or any of the other college football cathedrals in the conference on a Saturday in the fall, and you can see that business is booming.

And now the rich have gotten even richer. Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger took a look at the SEC's finances for the 2009-10 year, the first year of the SEC's new television contract with ESPN and CBS, and found out that the conference more than doubled its television revenue.

In the period between Sept. 1, 2009 and Aug. 30, 2010, the SEC reported $153.3 million in revenue from television and satellite radio — up 155 percent from the $60.1 million it reported in the same category in 2008-09. The league also saw a slight gain in revenue from postseason events, reporting $80.9 million in revenue in 2009-10, up from $78.8 million in 2008-09. Those two categories make up the vast majority of the league’s revenue.

The 12 conference members received an average of $18.28 million from the conference in 2009-10. That’s an increase of $5.25 million over the 2008-09 average of $13.03 million.

Man, I should have been a football conference.

What's somewhat humorous is the fact that the only person involved in the SEC who took a paycut during that time span was commissioner Mike Slive, though he's not hurting. Slive took home $1,008,032 during the 2009-10 school year, with $940,000 of that being base pay. That's a cut from the $2.1 million Slive earned in 2008-09, but the only reason for that is because Slive received a $1 million bonus for negotiating the conferences new television deal that year.

 

Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:48 pm
 

Cowbell assault suit seeks to include Miss. St.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This much we knew already: Mississippi State is going to pay out some level of fine to the SEC this offseason for its cowbell addiction, for its shocking, shocking inability (or, more accurately, "completely expected" inability) to prevent its fans from ringing their bells at inappropriate moments during league games in Starkville.

But an altercation between two State students at the 2009 Egg Bowl could make those cowbells an even more expensive habit for the university, thanks to a lawsuit already pending against Mike Slive and the SEC that could now expand to include MSU:
Doug Foster , attorney for William Matthew Brasher , has filed a motion in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court requesting that MSU and president Mark Keenum be added to the suit.

Brasher alleges he was assaulted by Brent Vowell during MSU's football game against the University of Mississippi on Nov. 28, 2009. He already was seeking unspecified damages from the SEC and commissioner Mike Slive because the league had a "knowing refusal," the suit says, to enforce its own rule on artificial noisemakers.

MSU was sent a claim by Brasher's attorneys on Nov. 16. It said Brasher is "willing to resolve his claim for damages" of $10 million.

Stunningly, there has no been indication on State's part that it is willing to offer Brasher $10 million -- once again, the sum of 10 million American dollars in a case in which one man allegedly knocked another man unconscious with a cowbell -- in order to close the suit.

Whether or not the court could wind up ordering State, or the SEC, or Slive to pay some smaller sum to Brasher is not something we're lawyer enough to take a guess at. But this much we know: if they do, State may have wished they'd gone for, say, tambourines instead.

Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Georgia self reports 5 NCAA violations

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Take not of this, Jim TresselGeorgia found out about five violations the school committed stemming from its recruitment of defensive end Ray Drew and it reported them right away. Georgia didn't wait eight months in hopes that Drew could still play this season or anything!

The violations are all of a secondary nature, and are mostly a result of former Bulldogs Randall Godfrey and David Pollack -- a current analyst on ESPN -- attending Drew's commitment ceremony in January.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that UGA had to report five NCAA rules violations to the SEC as a result of Drew’s Jan. 28 news conference at Thomas County Central High School. Drew, a five-star recruiting prospect, announced that day he was committing to the Bulldogs.  The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end has since signed a national letter-of-intent with UGA.
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity detailed the violations in a March 4 letter sent to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. That letter was obtained by the AJC through an open records request.
“The University of Georgia (UGA) is reporting an institutional violation of NCAA Bylaws . . . within our program,” McGarity wrote in the letter. “The violation involves prospective student-athlete (PSA) Mr. Ray Drew and two former letter winners who appear to be representatives of the University’s athletics interests.”
Neither Godfrey or Pollack are named in the school's report, but there's plenty of evidence they were there from photos, and their presence is what caused Georgia to look into the case to begin with. The violations being of a secondary nature, it's not likely that the NCAA will impose any kind of punishment on the school, but odds are the SEC will. Though I wouldn't expect there to be loud repercussions.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Spurrier: oversigning a "ticklish situation"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Offseason of Oversigning continued to make headlines last week when a pair of South Carolina recruits publicly admitted they were told less than 24 hours before Signing Day that the Gamecocks would not have room in their 2011 class for them. (Though academic concerns may have played a role in Steve Spurrier and his staff's decision, other Gamecock recruits with similarly uncertain grade issues were not asked to grayshirt.)

Thanks in part to the timing of that story, it seems, the Wall Street Journal has also turned its attention to oversigning . In this piece , published yesterday, SEC head coaches Spurrier, Houston Nutt, and Bobby Petrino each defend their team's having signed more players than permitted by the NCAA's 25-players-per-class or 85-players-on-scholarship limits.

Petrino said he signed according to a formula that took players' academic standing into account and included players with "absolutely no chance" of qualifying; on oversigning in general, he said he doesn't "see it as a bad thing unless you're being dishonest or waiting until the last minute." Similarly, Nutt said he had never waited until the last minute to tell a recruit "oh by the way you don't have a scholarship." (This might be news to receiver Collins Moore, who Nutt told a week before Signing Day he didn't have a scholarship at Ole Miss, at least not until 2012.)

But the most interesting quotes of all belonged to the "Ol' Ball Coach," who criticized the Big Ten for not oversigning ("I think that really hurts them a lot"), said that initial problem with the two potentially grayshirted recruits was that more prospects had chosen the Gamecocks than had been expected, and that they'd been chosen because they were the two commitments with the most work to do academically. Most intriguing of all, Spurrier admitted he could have handled the "situation" more smoothly:
"What we probably could've done earlier in the recruiting is tell them that this could happen," he said. "But then again, we didn't know it was going to come up. It's a ticklish situation."
"Ticklish" or not, the coach of one of those players clearly isn't happy with the Gamecocks over their approach:
[Jordan] Montgomery's high school coach, Walter Banks , said, "I told them this was foul. I didn't have a clue until 18 hours before signing day, and if they say anything else, they're lying."
To be fair to Spurrier and the other coaches, the story's bevy of quotes from recruits (and their parents) makes it clear that oversigning isn't a particularly big concern on their end (though that also seems to stem from the abundant self-belief that they won't be the ones in danger should the roster ax end up swinging). And with at least one of the two Carolina recruits (and possibly both) still planning on enrolling in Columbia once they can, it's safe to say the parties most immediately affected don't see Spurrier's actions as -- to quote Florida president and grayshirting critic Bernie Machen -- "morally reprehensible."

But whether it's an issue to recruits or not, whether Spurrier and the other SEC coaches defend it or not, the assault on oversigning from power brokers like Machen and Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity mean legislative change on oversigning could be coming all the same. (Maybe as soon as this year's annual SEC meetings , if Mike Slive is to be believed.) And until/unless that change happens, Spurrier and the rest of the SEC can't expect the negative attention from outlets like the Journal to simply go away.
 
 
 
 
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