DESTIN, Fla. — A year ago here, the Southeastern Conference established a rule barring student-athlete transfers to SEC schools who had been subject to disciplinary action at a previous school for sexual violence.
At this year’s SEC Spring Meeting, the conference is considering proposals on expanding its rules.
“At (2015 SEC football) media days, I indicated we would establish a working group to look at student-athlete conduct,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Tuesday, day one of the spring meeting. “What’s come back is two pieces: One is a broader definition to include stalking and more personal violence. The other is an expectation of due diligence work by the schools. We will create a set of questions we expect to be asked of a particular transfer student.”
But, Sankey was quick to point out, “We’re not adding a wholesale list of felonies.”
Sankey generally headed off questions that pertained to the hiring coaches by schools who are involved in sexual violence cases or handling them improperly. Specifically, he declined to answer questions regarding Art Briles and his dismissal last week as Baylor’s football coach.
“We’ve had a due diligence expectation in hiring dating back to about 2004,” Sankey said. “Our institutions can make decisions about hiring.”
Sankey on Lundquist
Sankey made a point to comment about the announcement Tuesday that longtime CBS football announcer Verne Lundquist would be stepping out of the booth for SEC games at the end of this season. His replacement will be Brad Nessler.
“I just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed watching him and getting to know him and listen to his stories,” Sankey said. “We look forward to having Brad as part of the CBS family.”
A report recently quoted Auburn coach Gus Malzahn regarding the possibility that SEC divisional realignment might be discussed here this week, with the prospect of Auburn moving to the SEC East.
“I have read those stories,” said Sankey, who was quick to dismiss the notion despite the fact the Western Division has won seven straight SEC Championship Games.
“Not from us,” Sankey said regarding the notion of conference realignment coming from the SEC office. “We’ve had great crowds, great success (with the championship game). There’s an ebb and flow to divisions, but great competition in both.”
Wednesday marks Sankey’s first anniversary as SEC commissioner. He took over June 1, 2015, when former commissioner Mike Slive surprisingly decided to step down at the end of the Spring Meeting instead of in July 2015 as planned.
The last word
“We generally call those bowl games.”
— Sankey on the idea of a regular season SEC-Big Ten challenge in football, similar to the SEC-Big 12 Challenge in basketball