SEC commissioner Greg Sankey

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks at SEC Media Days in July 2016 in Hoover, Ala.

DESTIN, Fla. — SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said he expects the new early signing period in football will attract a huge percentage of recruits who don’t want to wait until February.

“In basketball, we’ve seen two-thirds to three-fourths sign early,” Sankey said Tuesday. “I suspect you will see the same thing in football.”

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said it could be even higher than that.

“I think 75 to 90 percent of our class will be in that time period,” he said.

Grad transfer rule

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The SEC is discussing changing the rule that prohibits schools from accepting graduate transfers for three years if a team previously accepted transfers who don’t progress academically.

Sankey indicated he supported a move that would bring the SEC in line with rules of other conferences.

“The consideration of lowering that level of accountability is appropriate,” he said.


Sankey said the NCAA asked conferences for feedback on a proposal to create a 14-week college football season. Currently, the season is 13 weeks with room for one off week, but under a 14-week format there would be two open weeks. … Sankey said expanding alcohol sales to general seating at its games is not on the agenda but is expected to be discussed. He doesn’t expect discussion on Auburn at some point potentially moving to the SEC East. ... SEC men's basketball coaches gave South Carolina coach Frank Martin an ovation when he entered their meeting. Martin led South Carolina to its first Final Four appearance this season. ... SEC women's coaches presented South Carolina's Dawn Staley with a cake to commemorate her program's first NCAA title. The Lady Gamecocks beat Mississippi State in the final after State shocked Connecticut in the semis.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​