Recently at the SEC media event in Hoover,AL Mike Slive, the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference laid out his national agenda for change in a speech to those in attendance.
Here are the highlights, in case you didn't want to listen to all of his speech.
- "Our Goal is to provide student athletes, who aspire to become professionals, the opportunity to receive the expert advice they need, on a timely basis".
- "One of the most important discussion areas of this agenda, is to advance new ways of evaluating freshmen academic eligibility and to support proposed revisions to the two year college transfer model".A. Consider increasing minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.5B. Annual satisfactory progress rule for the 4 yrs of High SchoolC. May result in the partial qualifying standard reinstated
- "It's time to push the reset button on the regulatory approach to recruiting in order to move away from the ideas that recruiting rules are designed to create a level playing field. There are significant differences between institutions in resources climate, tradition, histories, stadiums, among many other things that make the idea of a level playing field an illusion".
Commissioner Slive has the best interest at heart of the student athlete, there isn't any need in discussing that point, it's a fact. Where he and several of his SEC coaches are at odds, are numerous, and need further dialogue. They should have been discussed at length at the SEC meetings in Destin, FL, or some other venue.
Let's give our SEC captain the benefit of the doubt, and look earnestly at his proposals.
Item 1.) "Our Goal is to provide student athletes, who aspire to become professionals, the opportunity to receive the expert advice they need, on a timely basis".
I think we all see that there is indeed a time in an athletes college career, that they need professional advice, without having to suffer the disqualification of their amateur status. Case in point would have been Darvin Adams. If he could have sought a professional panel, and heard from them that he would be better served with staying in college one more year, then he may have made a different choice. For the record I support Darvin leaving, and his confessed reasons for doing so.
Item 2.) "One of the most important discussion areas of this agenda, is to advance new ways of evaluating freshmen academic eligibility and to support proposed revisions to the two year college transfer model".
A. Consider increasing minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.5
B. Annual satisfactory progress rule for the 4 yrs of High School
C. May result in the partial qualifying standard being reinstated
This is by far the more complicated of any of his items in this national agenda. Not just for the reason of multiple talking points, but the task it would be to undertake. Conservatively, it would unite education programs all over the country, and rewrite the required national education requirements. Personally, I feel if he can pull this off, he should be President of The United States.
Let's pretend that Mike Slive can actually create a new education environment in 90% of the school systems across the country. Then, and only then should the minimum level of qualifying GPA be raised. Give the kids in the current system a chance to improve as they get through the system, and the junior high kids a better chance at being able to qualify.
Simply raising the minimum acceptance level is not the answer. It only hurts the chances of those student athletes that do not have a quality education experience available to them. It sentences them to the JUCO system, and decreases the quality of education available to the college athlete. Facts are facts, there is not the same quality of education at every Junior College, that there is at the major universities.
The now defunct "partial qualifier" rule is not the best thing to bring back into college athletics. If you think the "greyshirt" rules are bent, wait until you give some of these schools a license to bring in partial qualifier athletes. It was a nightmare before, it'll be worse with all the legislation it would require. I have chills just thinking about it. This part of Mr. Slive's proposal serves to only increase the length of the NCAA rulebook. Not a good option.
Item 3.) "It's time to push the reset button on the regulatory approach to recruiting in order to move away from the ideas that recruiting rules are designed to create a level playing field. There are significant differences between institutions in resources, climate, tradition, histories, stadiums, among many other things that make the idea of a level playing field an illusion".
This one is a mind blower, and exquisitely simple all at once. While on one hand, I agree that the NCAA rules have not adequately kept up with the times as far as cyber-communication, aka social media.
I also believe that media such as "Skype", facebook, and twitter will continue to evolve and an antiquated behemoth like the NCAA recruiting regulation handbook will never be able to keep up.
So Mr. Slive and I are in agreement that the rules need to be simplified. Have clear and precise dates that an institution can recruit and when they can not. Plain and simple, do away with the gray areas of allowable communication, and recruitment such as, "quiet periods, contact periods, and evaluation periods". Make it simple,two distinct periods, recruiting period, and non-recruiting period. That would work for me.
During the non-recruiting periods, no member of any institution would be allowed to talk, evaluate, or visit with any potential student athletes, coaches, teachers, guidance counselors, or their parents, or legal guardians. How much simpler would that be?
As far as the difference in one institution, and another, this is part of what makes the college football experience what it is.
College football, nay, all of college sport is by far the most enjoyable sporting experience in the universe, and you agree with me, or you wouldn't be reading this, so don't try to tell me otherwise.
There will never be a completely level playing field. Gone are the days of Ivy League national championships, at least at the BCS level. I for one would not relish a return to those "good old days". That could not be good for the sport, it's fans, nor the conferences which they play for.
What a sly old fox Mr. Slive has become, call for a new national agenda, while sitting on that huge stack of cash.