BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey is scheduled to speak on an array of issues starting at 2 p.m. ET at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors’s southeast regional meeting.
SEC Country is on the scene and will provide live updates, so refresh the page for the latest notes and quotes. Topics should include his first comments on the ban on satellite camps, rule changes, Power 5 issues and much more.
- Greg Sankey says Mike Slive is doing well after cancer battle. Hair is back and darker.
- On satellite camps being banned: He calls them recruiting tours. “This is not a conversation that has simply been limited for our purposes the last 12 months.” It started in 2011, he says. He calls them “marketed” attempts for recruiting purposes and “tryout events” that were outside the traditional recruiting calendar. “I do not view we have removed opportunities for young people.”
- Rather than the notion that things have been taken away, rather than continue to migrate football recruiting away from the scholastic environment” and recruiting calendar, “I think the council action is entire appropriate and consistent” with the council. If there is talk about extending recruiting calculator, that should come up, but “let’s not go” way of other sports and get away from scholastic setting.
- Perception SEC killed satellite camps: “We were clear in our perspective but we had two votes out of 15 in a weighted” voting system.
- “We were clear in articulating our concerns,” which he believes outweighs any perceived benefits of satellite camps.
- “These events become fundraising endeavors around college coaches. We are not to be involved” in such endeavors because the potential is there for paybacks for schools hosting camps.
- “We are doing well” with 14 members in the SEC.
- On hiring former Big East commish Mike Tranghese to facilitate betterment of basketball in the SEC. He says Tranghese “will shift the conversation” for SEC basketball. “We’ve talked a lot about scheduling but college basketball” but it’s also “about scheduling, it’s about recruiting, it’s about how we think about our officiating program, about how we communicate with coaches. … Those are elements of how you continue a conversation beyond simply just focus in selection in the NCAA Tournament.”
- Eliminate FCS games to help with SEC Network ratings when those are released in next year or so? Sankey says vast majority of games on the network are conference games, so he believes that’s an inaccurate assumption. “Let’s not assume what we are or not doing in ratings.” No communication about eliminating FCS games.
- Is it possible SEC will eliminate FCS games in football? “It’s a conversation piece but we have not eliminated those.”
- Sankey is asked about programs limiting players from transferring to certain programs. “I am concerned about the current transfer structure.” Believes there’s a lot of national concern about it.
- Concerns about transfer structure: “We have to have an intentional conversation about the variances that exist in sport.” “We need to talk about the academic impact of transferring.” Also: “The ability to have too much or the appropriate or sufficient level of oversight is the one that seems to be the lightning rod.”
- On personal conduct policy for transfers, particularly concerning domestic violence, could that extend to incoming players on high school level? No big conversation yet. “I don’t want at all to diminish accountability,” he clarifies.
- On Mississippi governor and LGBT legislation: “The first thing I say is both of our universities” in Mississippi have released statements saying their campuses are welcome to all. “I have said that as well” with social issues. As far as championship sites, it could affect whether Mississippi will get championship events.
- Happy about men’s basketball progress and what are you still frustrated about with men’s basketball? “We have a greater level of expectations of ourselves than three teams playing in the NCAA Tournament.” A piece of the puzzle is selecting the right coach and being able to stay for a longer period of time. “The combination of our coaches is very much positive for the future of this conference.” He expects in near future a more significant number of SEC teams in NCAA Tournament.
- Steve Shaw will not oversee the centralized replay location in the Birmingham office this football season, which was expected upon the announcement by the rules committee in February. They are still working through that process — and communicating with other conferences — about the process and how to build a team to be involved with the game-day operations in offices across the Power 5 conferences.
- “The time expectations we place on student-athletes” is a topic of conversation that needs to be made national.
- Word association when reporter mentions Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s name: “I move on,” Sankey says, before adding that “it is unfortunate to me” that the issue of satellite camps, etc., has become so specific. It’s bigger than one coach, etc.
- On Ole Miss receiving Notice of Allegations after two-year NCAA investigation: “One of the things that has to be front and center for the NCAA is moving these matters to conclusion” as fast as possible, but while making sure all bases are covered.