Everything you missed at the SEC spring meetings

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SDS had coverage all week of the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, where we heard some magical quotes and serious discussion about the future of the league.

Here are the major topics you may have missed about the spring meetings:

Scheduling

  • The SEC coaches voted 13-1 to keep the current eight-game schedule. Nick Saban was the only coach who voted for nine SEC games. The SEC announced that they will stick with the eight-game, 6-1-1 model through 2015.
  • The SEC should move to a nine-game SEC schedule in 2016. This will happen for two reasons: 1. Strength of schedule and 2. SEC Network product inventory, and coaches admitted it was only inevitable.
  • The coaches’ opinion on whether the SEC should drop permanent cross-divisional opponents was spear-headed by Les Miles, but the vote was said to be about neutral among the coaches, meaning 50 percent are okay with eliminating the Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia rivalries.

Paying players

  • The SEC coaches derived a proposal for the ADs to pay only football and men’s basketball players $4,000 per year in scholarship money. Knowing the NCAA shot down the $2,000 stipend, this will be an uphill battle. It makes sense to start with a stipend to the highest revenue-generating sports, and Mike Slive has been an outward supporter of the additional dollars for student-athletes.

SEC-wide drug policy

  • Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the ADs and presidents had discussions about an SEC-wide substance abuse policy. Currently, the member institutions determine policies.
  • Nick Saban said it was ‘pretty unanimous’ that coaches are against such policy.
  • Slive said the policy didn’t even come to a vote.

Playoff talk

  • We learned the playoff committee will not include current conference commissioners, coaches or ADs.
  • ADs from around the country were asked to submit names for the committee due yesterday, making it totally unbiased (yeah right!).
  • The committee will meet prior to the season, and then four to five times during the season, starting in October.
  • The committee will have a geographical element, with equal representatives from across the country.
  • The SEC will probably submit around 20 total names for the committee, according to Slive.

Show me the money

  • Mike Slive announced the SEC will evenly distribute a record $289.4 million in revenue among the 14 institutions, which is an average of $20.7 million per school.
  • Last year, the SEC split $244 million 12 ways, an average of $20.3 million per school.

Quotables

  • Steve Spurrier on his possible retirement: “My golf game is lousy. It may keep me coaching, it’s so lousy.”
  • Nick Saban on Ohio State playing the SEC’s top six teams: “How many would Ohio State have beaten? Would they have won three? I don’t know.”
  • Nick Saban on his reasoning for voting for nine games: “The biggest thing we all need to do in some of these decisions we’re making about who we play and what we do is: What about the fans? One of these days, they’re going to quit coming to the games because they’re going to stay at home and watch it on TV. Everybody’s going to say, ‘Why don’t you come to the games?’ Well, if you’d play somebody good, then we’d come to the games. That should be the first consideration, the fans. Nobody’s considering them. They’re just thinking about, ‘How many games can I win? Can I get bowl qualified? How many tough teams do I have to play?’”
  • Mark Richt on vowing to keep the Georgia-Auburn rivalry alive: “The one thing I will say that I would vote on is to continue to have our rival game with Auburn. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but I vote for us to continue to play Auburn. It truly is a rival game for us. For over 100 years we’ve been playing them, so I’d like that to continue.”
  • Mike Slive on record revenue distribution: “Remember,” Slive said, “we’re dividing by 14 (schools), so that’s a pretty healthy number.”

Photo Credit: Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

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