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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slive puts NCAA on notice

By now, you've undoubtedly heard about the statement SEC Commissioner Mike Slive made at the beginning of SEC Media Days. The long-short of it is Slive wants to raise academic requirements and create a system that gives the student athlete multiyear scholarships, and opens up their options instead of hindering nearly every aspect of their personal life.

I agree with a lot of what Slive said today. It seems to be a very proactive move that should win rave reviews from the same media (and B1G Ten officials) that take so much pleasure in blasting the SEC for oversigning, low academic requirements, etc. Slive dropped a PR bomb on the journalists in attendance and, as of this moment, many are still trying to wrap their head around all the information.

What may go under the radar though, is how Slive basically put the NCAA on notice. He mentioned NCAA president Mark Emmert by name many times but his tone was never one of the SEC being a part of the NCAA as much as it was the SEC flexing its muscle to the NCAA. Slive knows that the SEC is its own brand and he knows he's the head of the ruler of NCAA football. What he said today to the NCAA was "We're going to work on our house, but you have to work on yours. If not, we're changing neighborhoods." He never mentioned ever leaving the NCAA or even hinted at it, but the tone was clear and his frustration was noticeable.

Slive is not a dumb man. He knows that the NCAA has spent so much time shooting himself in its own foot that IF (and that's a big if) the SEC wanted to jump ship and create its own amateur sports league, it would probably have two or three conferences join as well. Remember, the NCAA didn't craft that SEC Television contract with ESPN. The NCAA didn't draw up the specifics of the CBS one, either. The SEC has the power, and it'll have the money for the next decade. The ball is firmly in their court.

Kudos to Slive to standing up to the boys in Indianapolis. Talking about change is the first step in getting it started.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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