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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Destin could get interesting

Here's my interview with SEC commissioner Mike Slive, conducted earlier this week. The biggest news, that Slive and the league will push over-signing legislation, was posted earlier.

But as you can tell by reading the Q-and-A, there will be plenty of issues discussed at the upcoming league meetings in Destin, Fla. Here's what stood out to me:

- The over-signing "package", as Slive referred to it, will be the most fascinating to watch. Georgia and Florida appear to be out-numbered by the Western Division coaches, and South Carolina, in wanting to stiffen rules. But you have to remember, the presidents are the ones who actually vote for it. So if enough Western Division presidents are willing to over-rule their coaches (and perhaps athletics directors), there might be some teeth behind whatever is passed.

If anything does end up getting passed. But I have to think Slive has done a good bit of head-counting, so the question is what exactly the commish will propose.

- The men's basketball division and tournament setup will get some serious examination this year. The Western coaches vetoed tournament re-seeding last year, but there appear to be more votes for it this year. That could become effective right away if agreed upon, Slive told me. And beyond 2012, the commissioner said, the divisions could be eliminated altogether, or the conference schedule could be changed.

- Slive has backed off being a public (but not vocal) proponent of the plus-one system as an alternative to the BCS. This isn't surprising considering his league has won the past five BCS titles, as he pointed out. (One would argue, however, that the SEC would probably benefit under any system.)

- I don't imagine that the words "Cam Newton" will be mentioned prominently. But considering it was the major story of the past year, I thought it worth asking Slive about. You can read his responses in the story.

- One issue that hasn't received much attention, but appears on the front-burner for the SEC, is seven-on-seven football camps. People in college football are concerned that it's creeping too close to the importance of AAU coaches in basketball recruiting. We'll see what the league and others do about it.

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