Tag:Mike Slive
Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:48 pm
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: SEC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Breaking down who won and who lost in the SEC on National Signing Day:

 

WINNERS

Mike Slive. Anyone who doubted Missouri's conference cred had to fall silent for at least a day as the Tigers introduced the nation's No. 1 recruit into the SEC East. The rest of the Tigers' class may not be as deep as many of their new league rivals', but when said class also includes a star as overpoweringly bright as Dorial Green-Beckham, it's hard to see any flaws.

Players to watch: WR Dorial Green-Beckham, G Evan Boehm, QB Maty Mauk.  

Alabama. Yawn--just another No. 1-ranked class of 25-plus blue-chips for Nick Saban's perpetual recruiting motion machine, with the surprise signing of highly regarded Virginia defensive tackle Korren Kirven the icing on a cake the Crimson Tide had baked long before Wednesday. By his own admission, Saban said they "didn't have any surprises," for worse or -- this being Alabama -- better. Once Kirven had declared and top safety Landon Collins had finally gotten his mother on board, the drama in Tuscaloosa was over.

In fact, after a big Junior Day haul, Saban and Co. are already off and sprinting for 2013. Come next February, it's likely there won't be any surprises then either. It may not be exciting for anyone hoping for stunning announcements, big rankings swings, and overheated speculation -- the Tide may have used it all up in last year's Cyrus Kouandjio saga -- but it's the same lethally efficient formula that's netted Saban two national championships in three seasons. Nothing much changed for Alabama on Signing Day, but unfortunately for the rest of college football, that means nothing much has changed when it comes to the difficulty of knocking the Tide off their perch, either.

Players to watch: S Landon CollinsRB T.J. YeldonCB Geno SmithVideo: Saban on being No. 1 on the recruiting trail. 



James Franklin. When Franklin's blazingly hot start last summer netted him a commitment from All-American running back Brian Kimbrow, the nation's no. 52 player, the response from many observers around the SEC was "That's impressive. It'll be even more impressive if he actually signs."

Not every one of those early Vanderbilt commitments made it across the finish line. But Kimbrow did, along with 20 other quality players that had the 'Dores in the CBS Sports National Signing Day  Top 25 a week beforehand. Vandy couldn't quite hang on to that lofty ranking, but even having the SEC's eternal doormat in a "top 25" conversation is an achievement for Franklin arguably on par with Saban's in Tuscaloosa. 

Players to watch: RB Brian Kimbrow, DE Caleb AzubikeQB Pat Robinette.

Steve Spurrier's nerves. South Carolina isn't traditionally the first team you'd think of when looking for a comparison to Alabama when it comes to recruiting success. But the Gamecocks might be this year, thanks in part to joining the Tide in the team rankings top 10 (believe it or not, Carolina quietly finished third in the SEC). But like Alabama, the Gamecocks also enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful Signing Day, with 19 of the 25 Gamecocks who signed today having already committed before the 2011 season started. 

“It’s been a peaceful Signing Day today, which was kind of nice,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said. And when you peacefully land players like Shaq Roland and Jordan Diggs, doubly so.

Players to watch: WR Shaq Roland, RB Mike DavisDB Jordan Diggs. Video: Spurrier talks recruiting impact. 


LOSERS

Mark Richt's nerves. On the other side of the spectrum from Alabama and South Carolina, there was Georgia's National Signing Day. The day started with the disappointment of missing out on receivers Cordarelle Patterson (Tennessee) and JaQuay Williams (Auburn) (leaving the Bulldogs with just one wideout in the class), then picked up with a commitment from Maxpreps top 100 linebacker/safety Josh Harvey-ClemonsBut that a.m. joy dissolved into p.m. worry as Harvey-Clemons grandfather and legal guardian reportedly refused to sign Harvey-Clemons' letter of intent. Adding insult to injury, Richt's premature public comments on Harvey-Clemons may have even constituted a minor NCAA violation.

With or without Harvey-Clemons, the Bulldogs are still going to boast a star-studded class with nearly as many top 100 recruits (five, or six) as any team in the country. But the potential of losing Harvey-Clemons to hated Florida with the Gators already sitting some 15 spots ahead in the team rankings is likely to cause a restless evening (or evenings) in Athens all the same.

Players to watch: OL John TheusRB Keith MarshallDE Jordan Jenkins. Video: Will Muschamp on Florida's Signing Day.

LSU's in-state clout. There's about 105 FBS teams or so that would gladly trade classes with LSU's, especially after the addition of out-of-state gems like Oxford (Ala.) linebacker Kwon AlexanderBut in a somewhat down year for talent in the Pelican State, the Tigers had to lock down the borders to put together a truly elite class, and that didn't happen--not only did Collins and highly-regarded linebacker Denzel Devall stick with their Alabama commitments, Texas shocked Les Miles by snatching away the Tigers' blue-chip linebacker Torshiro Davis. (Davis rubbed salt in Miles's wound by saying LSU's players "don't seem that happy.")

Those were the top three players in the state by many accounts, and LSU didn't land any of them. It's not the end of the world, but for a program built on an annual harvest of blue-chippers from the bayou, it's a worrying sign all the same.

Players to watch: OL Vadal Alexander, WR Avery Johnson, LB Trey Granier.  

Arkansas. As usual under Bobby Petrino, the Razorbacks signed a respectable-but-not-spectacular class that Petrino will no doubt turn into something far more than the sum of its parts once it comes together in Fayetteville. But to come as close as they reportedly did to signing the player that would have helped cement their status as a national power and come up short has to sting.

Players to watch: LB Otha Peters, OG Jeremy Ward, RB Jonathan Williams.

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

Auburn. On the good side: wide receivers JaQuay Williams and Ricardo Louis each stuck with their original commitments to the Tigers, offensive lineman Will Adams flipped from Georgia Tech, and top tackle Avery Young gave Auburn a top-100 cornerstone at Georgia and Florida's expense. On the not so good side: Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, Leonard Williams, Alexander and Jordan Moore all had Auburn as one of their finalists and all went in a different direction. Gene Chizik's boom-or-bust Signing Day somehow managed to neither quite boom nor bust.

Players to watch: QB Zeke Pike, RB Jovon Robinson, DB T.J. Davis. And to wrap things up, here's some video of Derek Dooley:


Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 1:24 pm
 

SEC proposing major changes to recruiting model

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Southeastern Conference is proposing several major changes to NCAA bylaws concerning football recruiting, according to a letter obtained by CBSSports.com.

The letter, from SEC commissioner Mike Slive to Leeland Zeller, the NCAA's associate director of Academic and Membership Affairs, was sent June 15 ahead of the Recruiting and Personnel Issues Cabinet meeting that was held this past weekend.

In it, Slive details the SEC's position on several hot-button recruiting issues after they were discussed at conference meetings in Destin, Fla.

Among the highlights:

  • The SEC endorses the return of text messaging. Currently, coaches cannot text with recruits (at all) but they can email them or send them a Facebook message. The current rules have already caused several coaches to self-report violations after accidentally texting a prospective student-athlete and some coaches privately gripe this is one of the rules they'd like to seen thrown out sooner rather than later. In talking with several administrators from other conferences, there should be plenty of support if the SEC puts forth a proposal to allow texting. The letter does note that while the conference's position is to allow texts, there should be limits in order to not overwhelm prospective recruits.
  • An earlier date for the first off-campus contact by coaches with recruits.
  • Current rules force compliance to monitor follower requests on Twitter and friend requests on Facebook sent to institutional staffers (coaches, administrators, etc.). The SEC says this monitoring "presents a significant compliance challenge" and wants staff members to be able to accept them without having to go through compliance first.
  • The SEC will introduce a proposal for the upcoming NCAA legislative cycle that will permit any coach or staff member to receive phone calls placed by recruits, recruits' parents or recruits' coaches. Phone calls to and from recruits is currently tightly regulated and the SEC proposal would expand contact with recruits as a way to alleviate some compliance concerns associated with monitoring and reporting. Essentially, the SEC is looking to deregulate a lot of the legislation concerning phone calls and texting.
  • The conference would like to redefine the four recruiting periods (Contact, Evaluation, Quiet and Dead) on the calendar into three (Off-campus, on-campus and dead). The SEC wants the off-campus period to be a combination of the current contact and evaluation periods with the rationale that they would eliminate the media from blowing up reports of the so-called "bump" rule being violated. The bump rule, the letter states, "is a source for media reports questioning the integrity of involved coaches, create the expectation that high school coaches arrange incidental contact during an evaluation period, and place college coaches intent on following the rules at a distinct disadvantage." The change is significant and would allow spring football recruiting to take on an even greater importance in the recruiting cycle. Coaches would be able to talk to players freely when they visit campuses in the spring and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the number of verbal commitments to skyrocket as recruits commit when a coach comes to visit.
  • Although the letter states the conference supports earlier official visits - especially taking visits during the summer - they do not propose a specific date the visits should start because "no clear consensus exists around the date that might be established." Slive notes that there is some concern that summer official visits would allow some schools to pay for recruits to come to campus and then allow them to participate in their summer camp at the same time, thus covering travel costs for recruits to camps where players would be evaluated.
  • It has been previously discussed, but the SEC will submit an NCAA-wide proposal that bans 7-on-7 and other so-called "non-scholastic" events from college campuses. The conference also will submit a proposal that bans coaches from involvement in local sports clubs.
Needless to say, the SEC is making a major legislative push to alter many of the rules governing recruiting. Given the way the NCAA legislative cycle operates, it will likely be awhile before proposals turn into bylaws, but the SEC is certainly sending a message that its members want changes to the way things are currently operating.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 11:37 am
 

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oversigning. Roster Management. Initial counters. Transfers. Those were some of the buzz words as the SEC wrapped up their annual spring meetings this week in Destin, Florida (CBSSports.com colleague Brett McMurphy has been covering the meetings on his blog). Oversigning, a topic that has been debated at length in the media coming into the meetings, was expected to be one of the things the league actually took action on and that they did Friday afternoon.

The SEC presidents voted to approve several proposals that will be adopted league-wide immediately, with several expected to be forwarded for possible adoption by the NCAA. The most noteworthy of the proposals was reducing the annual cap on signees from 28 to 25. Several schools, such as Florida and Georgia, had already been abiding by the lower limit.

Current NCAA rules permit schools to take 25 "initial counters" per year (high school players who enroll at a school for the first time are considered an initial counter) but schools can sign up to 28 players to a letter of intent to take into account players who do not qualify academically.

Several SEC coaches developed a reputation of being notorious oversigners. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signed 38 players in 2009 (though fewer than 25 actually enrolled in school), prompting the currrent limit of 28 signees that commonly became known as 'The Houston Nutt Rule.' All 12 of the league's coaches were also at the meetings this week and voted to keep the limit at 28 but were overturned by the presidents, who voted 12-0 in favor of the new rule.

"No one wants to win more than I do," commissioner Mike Slive told reporters. "But you don't want to win at the expense of young people. You want to win for them." 

The 25 signee limit is just one of several that will change the way the SEC (and possibly others in the future) recruits. Other new rules were adopted to address the number of signees, how players are counted when they enroll and having the league office oversee all medical scholarship exemptions. The conference also eliminated an exception allowing graduate students to transfer and not have to sit out a year. This rule will not start until October, allowing transfers considering SEC schools to still enroll without a penalty, such as former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson.

"You should stay at our institutions long enough to have the type of academic experience that you expect student-athletes to have," Slive said. "You shouldn't solely transfer in for an athletic experience."

All of the talk and actual change that came about in Destin this week is a remarkable turnaround for the conference. Last year the conference pushed through legislation related to how to count incoming players that essentially created a loophole to the 28 man limit and other changes related to counting financial aid. It was just two years ago that the SEC submitted the 28 signees limit to the NCAA membership, which was subsequently accepted and made a national rule.

Slive and the presidents didn't think about things or slowly phase in legislation, they made a hardline stance this week and said no more oversigning.

What does this mean going forward? At the moment, these proposals are limited to the SEC so Texas A&M or Washington can still sign 28 players in the upcoming class of 2012. Big Ten schools have already adopted even stricter signing rules and have been leading the outrage over oversigning for several years.

The deadline to submit NCAA legislation is in a few weeks so we'll know exactly what is on the horizon nationally but there's at least one or two SEC coaches going back to their recruiting board and making a few adjustments. Many of the league's coaches sign a player they know cannot qualify in hopes of placing him in a junior college and then getting him eligible. Starting this year, the so-called 'sign and place' kids will be no more.

Bottom line is you'll see 25 or fewer players actually sign a letter of intent with SEC schools come February. The days of kids getting squeezed out of a scholarship because of a coach oversigning appear to be over and no matter what you think of the oversigning debate, that's a good thing.

Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Details emerge about SEC oversigning proposals

Posted by Bryan Fischer

When the SEC spring meetings begin in Destin, Florida next week, there will be plenty of attention on commissioner Mike Slive and what the rest of the conference's presidents and athletic directors do about the controversal topic of oversigning. It was just two years ago that the SEC pushed through a rule limiting signing classes to 28 players but schools have taken advantage of several loopholes to get around it (South Carolina signed 32 players as part of their class of 2011 and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt has the reputation of being a coach who frequently oversigns). Now it appears the conference is going to send an even stronger message by passing a new set of proposals that will make oversigning even tougher to do.

“We will not oversign,” Georgia president Michael Adams told The Athens Banner-Herald in February. “Issues of grayshirting and oversigning in football – and some of the other issues that have been in the press – are issues that I know to be on the presidents’ agenda for Destin.”

The Banner-Hearld found out some of the details about the new proposals and, if passed, they would represent a major change in how coaches go about building their recruiting class and manage their roster. Some of the details include:

- Limiting signing classes to 25 for those that sign with a school between December 1st to August 1st. The current limit is 28 signees from Signing Day to May 31st.

- Signees would count against the number if they attend summer school on scholarship. There are currently no limits on who can attend summer school.

- More control for the SEC office over handing out medical scholarship exemptions.

- Limit early enrollees from signing a financial aid agreement until they enroll in school.

From the sounds of it, several of the coaches are not happy about new limitations but this is being pushed by many of the presidents in the league. Nutt, who signed 37 players in 2009 and is thought to have prompted the rule limited schools to 28 signees, says the latter number is a good number and making it 25 would limit his ability to manage his roster.

“It’s a very difficult job to try to manage, to keep two, three deep at every position,” Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “Until you’ve done it, until you’ve actually done it, it’s one of the most difficult things, ever.”

The majority of the support for limiting oversigning seems to come from schools in the SEC East, such as Georgia and Florida, while the majority of the opposition for further restrictions seems to come from schools in the SEC West, such as Ole Miss and Alabama.

It should make for an interesting few days in Destin as coaches, presidents and athletic directors discuss the issue.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 7:32 pm
 

SEC should look at new official visit legislation

Posted by Bryan Fischer

New oversigning rules are one of the legislative issues that the SEC is expected to focus on during their annual league meetings but the Eye on Recruiting is passing along one suggestion for Mike Slive and company to also look at: official visits for college football recruits.

Recently, the six major conferences made a few suggestions as to how the basketball recruiting model could be changed to the NCAA Leadership Council and Board of Directors. The SEC suggested one plan while the five other major conferences submitted a slightly different one (the differences were minimal). While a lot of the focus was on basketball, some of the suggestions could and should find their way to the football side.

Ideally these would make things easier for the coaches, their compliance offices, the parents and the recruits.

Here's two of the proposed rules as they relate to official visits and how they could be applied to football:

Official visits

Currently: Begin senior of high school.

Basketball proposal: April 15 of a recruit's junior year of high school.

How it could be done in football: Permitting official visits during the spring and summer would have a much greater effect in football than it would for basketball. For one, schools have to host a lot more recruits and in shorter window than basketball does. Spacing them out allows for more one-on-one time with players and coaches and can give the recruit more time to actually see if he fits in at the school instead of being shepherded around as part of a group. Also at issue, most high school seniors simply don't have time to take all of their visits. They play Friday nights and then have to hustle to hop on a plane to get to a school before getting back late Sunday night. Allow them to do it during the summer so they don't have to miss out on school work (a key consideration) and can actually stay long enough to get a good look at the school.

Official Visit Expenses:

Currently: Limited to the recruit.

Basketball proposal: Allow the school to pay for the recruit and two parents/legal guardians.

How it could be done in football: Because there's so many more players, paying for both parents might be a little much but schools should be able to pay for at least one. While official visits are nice, those from poorer backgrounds often can't afford for a parent to go with along on a visit and see where, exactly, their son might go to school. Coaches also talk about getting to know what kind of kids they are recruiting so they don't sign trouble makers and this would give them another chance to meet their parents and see how they're raised.

While they're at it, I'm sure they can also advance some new legislation on a fair enforcement process, coaches lying and on a myriad of other problems plaguing the sport. Official visits might be a small step but it would improve things for recruits and be a step in the right direction for making it easier on the kids.

Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:34 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.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com