The SEC has expanded the definition of "serious misconduct" that would ban athletes from transferring to conference members.

According to conference commissioner Greg Sankey, the new definition of "serious misconduct" applies to transfers who pled guilty or no contest to a felony involving serious misconduct. Additionally, the new definition applies to acts of "dating violence, stalking, or 'conduct of a nature that creates serious concerns about the safety of others.'"

The rule, which was passed last year in response to Alabama accepting Georgia transfer Jonathan Taylor, originally prohibited conference members from accepting transfers who had been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to crimes defined as sexual assault, domestic violence, or other forms of sexual violence. Taylor was later dismissed from Alabama after he was arrested again on domestic violence charges.

However, high school students will not be subject to the new expanded definition -- not as of right now, anyway. If that had been the case, Mississippi State would have been prevented from accepting 5-star defensive end Jeffrey Simmons.

Mississippi State has come under a tremendous amount of criticism for accepting Simmons even though the athletic department outlined several conditions by which he must abide. Ultimately, Mississippi State is allowed by the law of the conference to give Simmons another chance after video surfaced of him repeatedly punching a woman laying on the ground. Simmons later apologized for his actions and Mississippi State is taking that chance.

However, if the Baylor sexual assault scandal taught us anything, it's that athletics as an outlet for behavioral rehabilitation, while sometimes well-intentioned, can carry tremendous risk. That's especially true when the department or, individually, coaches, are left to their own devices to handle things "internally."

Additionally, the whole concept of rehabilitation can be applied unevenly. A top-rated recruit like Simmons may get a chance while a less-heralded recruit may not.

In that way, the expanded penalty for "serious misconduct" still falls short.

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The SEC clarified its serious misconduct rule on Friday. USATSI