The second day of the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida has come and gone, and things definitely started to heat up. Thursday will be a "judgement day" of sorts as that is when the 12 school presidents are due to arrive.
Among the issues discussed on Day 2 was oversinging (an actual vote on it occurred), Mark Emmert who is the president of the NCAA spoke for a bit, Steve Spurrier (as Andy already covered here) proposed to pay the players, and even discussed the Stephen Garcia paradox.
As mentioned, NCAA president Mark Emmert talked with reporters and answered a few questions. For the entire article, click here, as I'm just going to discuss the major topics. He said his reasoning for attending these meetings was to meet all the presidents of the member schools and to touch on some broad issues that affect the entire NCAA. Meaning he was here to get their opinions on oversigning.
When he was asked his thoughts on oversigning - more specifically - Slive going against the coaches:
I'm delighted that Mike Slive and the presidents and the coaches are going to have a good conversation about it, and I appreciate the approach Mike's taking - that this is all about doing the right thing by the students. Now, what that is is complicated. It's not obvious what the right answer is, but clearly we don't want to leave the young men hanging out there without options when they thought they had them. So I think they'll have a good conversation here, and I hope that stimulates similar debate around the country.
Once again, leave it to the SEC to be at the forefront of an issue. It always seems that the SEC leads they way and the issue of oversigning (granted they are the biggest offender) seems to be no different.
When asked if the SEC does in fact limit the signings to 25, if that would then change the NCAA limit which is currently set at 28:
Not necessarily, no. The SEC of course can impose its own restrictions. There hasn't been a direct conversation about it with the NCAA, so we'll have to see where it goes. And that's why I think this is a good conversation here in the SEC. And I'm very, very pleased that they're taking it up on their agenda.
Of course it wouldn't. As much as we would like, the SEC is not the NCAA and doesn't wield that amount of power.
When he was asked where the Auburn investigation is going:
Well, we don't comment on investigations.
Not surprising at all that he wouldn't comment. But hey, it's always worth a shot in asking the question.
Speaking of the oversigning issue, the coaches voted unanimously (12-0) in keeping the number at 28. As Chris Low of ESPN points out:
Even Florida’s Will Muschamp voted along with his coaching colleagues to keep the number at 28 despite Florida’s policy as a university not to oversign. The most the Gators sign every February is 25, which is the maximum number a school can enroll on scholarship each August under NCAA rules.
Don't get confused. That 25 number is enrolled players, not signed players.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt each gave their thoughts on the voting and oversigning in general:
"Hopefully, they will leave it there," Spurrier said. "But if they don’t, we’ll keep playing anyway. They’re not going to cancel football."
Leave it to Spurrier to throw a bit of humor into the equation. That's why we love him.
"As long as you’re up front and honest, there’s nothing wrong with it," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said.
Houston Nutt is exactly right. If you tell a kid that if he signs with the program and he is in the oversigning area, he should understand what he is getting into. If he doesn't like it or isn't comfortable with it, he can go somewhere else.
Among the other coaches who touched on the subject publicly were Gene Chizik (Auburn), Les Miles (LSU) and Derek Dooley (Tennessee). But their comments essentially mirrored those of Spurrier's and Nutt's.
One of the more touching moments during the day, involved Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and his view on the cowbells:
“I have young people come in with cowbells that their grandfather gave them on their death bed,” he said. “They look at it like you’re trying to take a tradition away from our family or a deep-rooted symbolism of our family and trying to rip it away from us.”
I'm in favor of them keeping the cowbells. It is tradition. Let them keep it.
As promised, here is the video recap courtesy of Low and Aschoff: