DESTIN, Fla. — The Southeastern Conference as a group isn’t in favor of an early signing date for football.
But in a “break glass in case of early recruiting” move, SEC members have decided upon a preferred scenario for just such a move.
Commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday at the SEC Spring Meeting that the conference would like a single signing date on the first Monday of December if necessary.
Early signees would be prohibited from having taken official visits to any school. Those wishing to take official visits would have to wait until the traditional national signing period which begins the first Wednesday in February.
“We will encourage our colleagues to keep the current model,” Slive said.
“There is going to be a domino effect if we have an early signing date. It will become the signing date. We don’t want to change the (recruiting) calendar.
“But if there is (national) debate, we will bring this model forward.”
Despite what Slive described as consensus on the early signing issue, LSU coach Les Miles expressed his support for the proposal.
Foley on LSU-UF series
Miles and LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva failed at their attempt to convince most of the rest of the SEC to discard permanent cross-divisional opponents in football.
The unmoved included Florida, LSU’s permanent opponent.
Wednesday, Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley explained why.
“It’s a big-time game every other year coming into our place,” said Foley, whose Gators host LSU on Oct. 11. “We like that. It drives ticket sales to have an opponent of that magnitude.
“I think it’s a tremendous rivalry. Our fans love going there, to New Orleans, to play in Tiger Stadium which is pretty special. Obviously there are a lot of other schools that felt the same way.
“From our point of view, we like to play LSU.”
The Tigers and Gators have played every year since 1971.
Slive on early departures
The commissioner said discussion took place Wednesday about how to create a process for student-athletes considering leaving school early for a professional draft to have better, more reliable information about their draft prospects.
“Something competent, believable and comfortable so they can make a decision,” he said.
“When a young man gets conflicting information, how can he get something that’s reliable? The first part of any analysis is creating the right questions. (Wednesday) we got the juices flowing.”
2016 women’s tourney set
The SEC has awarded the 2016 women’s basketball tournament to Jacksonville, Florida.
The tournament will be played at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
That’s where the LSU men’s team won first- and second-round games en route to the 2006 Final Four.
The 2015 women’s tournament will be in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
“We’re trying to find a home,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. “We’re going to find one. We’re in North Little Rock next year and we’ve got some other options.”
Tuesday, the SEC awarded the 2018 men’s tournament to St. Louis and the 2022 men’s tournament to Tampa, Florida.
All other men’s tournaments between 2015-25 will be played in Nashville, Tennessee.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.