The offseason’s most heated debate should be a healthy debate, if Mike Slive has anything to say about it.
Slive stayed mum throughout the NCAA’s 10-second proposal discussion that would have theoretically slowed down offenses, until yesterday.
Slive said there’s no way he could take a side on the subject, but he did say that there should be a competition committee that fuels a healthy debate on the subject so we can make an accurate decision about the tabled rule, according to AL.com.
“This would have been a perfect subject for someone to look at the game itself who cared about the game and then come up with an interpretation,” Slive said. “Then and only then would it go to the rules committee for some change in the game because they believed in the long-term best interest of the game that ‘this is a good idea or not a good idea.’
“This debate exposed a glaring error in the process. Hopefully we can fill that.”
The heated discussion turned into a finger-pointing contest at perceived ‘bad guy’ Nick Saban, who was a big proponent of the proposed rule, and it put the biggest rivalry in college football between Alabama and Auburn directly in the crosshairs.
A healthy debate is exactly what Gus Malzahn proposed prior to the NCAA sidelining the proposed rule.
“The bottom line: This is not a rule-change year,” Malzahn said in mid-February. “For a rule to be changed, it has to be under the umbrella of health and safety. And the fact that there’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions.
“What I asked him [Calhoun] to do is move this to next year where it is a rule-change year, that we can hear both sides and have a healthy debate on moving forward with the rules.”
If Slive gets his wish, a competition committee would be formed to help decide what’s best for the longevity of the game, and Malzahn’s and Slive’s idea of a healthy debate may just happen.
Can you imagine the ratings of a debate that pitted Malzahn and Saban together regarding the 10-second proposal?
Slive also touched on future football scheduling in 2016 and beyond. Figuring out whether the league will stick with an eight-game conference schedule or move to a nine-game slate, along with keeping or demolishing permanent cross-divisional rivalries, will be decided prior to the SEC’s spring meetings in late May.
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Slive also said no conference rivalry was sacred, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
“Last spring in Destin (Fla.), our presidents said to us, ‘Study the formats and we want a decision in time for the 2016 season,’ which is now,” Slive said. “So we’ve been working on that since then.
“We tell them that all of the formats — every one of them — has a series of advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “There’s no one that lines up with all advantages and there’s no one that lines up with all disadvantages. So people are going to have to make a decision knowing that whatever decision they make is going to have some advantages and some disadvantages.”
The SEC’s sacred rivalries of Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee sound like they’re in jeopardy.
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