Three key issues
DESTIN, Fla. — Three key issues that will be making headlines during this week’s Southeastern Conference Spring Meeting:
NCAA governance : The SEC’s 14 schools are part of the so-called group of 65 that includes members of the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC conferences and Notre Dame. All are expected to seek more autonomy in terms of the way they are governed as part of NCAA Division I, which could ultimately include the right to pay student-athletes a stipend or provide other benefits that less-funded programs cannot. SEC leaders are expected to put forth some of their suggestions on governance during meetings this week.
SEC Network: The conference’s 24-hour money maker launches 11 weeks from Thursday, with a football doubleheader (Texas A&M-South Carolina and Vanderbilt-Temple) to follow two weeks later. There are still major hurdles to clear before then, namely distribution rights on cable systems (like Cox and Eatel) and satellite providers (DirecTV) that haven’t come on board yet.
There will be more gaps filled in terms of programming this week during meetings between SEC and ESPN brass as the network’s launch date draws ever closer.
COST CONTAINMENT: LSU President F. King Alexander will be attending his first SEC Spring Meeting as LSU’s chief executive, but he said in a recent interview he won’t be a wallflower when it comes to addressing the spiraling arms race between college athletic programs. Alexander knows there probably won’t be a lot of movement on the subject during the Spring Meeting, but he would like the discussion to start somewhere and hopes a power broker conference like the SEC can be a trendsetter.
— Scott Rabalais