SEC Commish to coaches: Knock it off



Destin, Fla.—Mike Slive is, by his own admission, “a recovering attorney.” He is also a former district court judge. So he’s no stranger to being in a room full of powerful people who don’t necessarily love each other.

The SEC Commissioner will draw upon that experience today as the league’s 2009 Spring Meetings begin here on the Florida panhandle. Slive will meet with the SEC’s football coaches as he always does. His language will be measured. He will be calm, but firm. He will remind them of the SEC’s basic rules of sportsmanship to which every coach in the league in every sport is expected to adhere.

But the message, while dressed up befitting a man of Slive’s stature, will be very simple and very blunt:

Knock it off.

Knock off public pronouncements that other coaches are breaking the rules. Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin said that about Florida’s Urban Meyer in February. Kiffin was wrong and was reprimanded by the SEC.

Knock off shots about somebody else’s recruiting techniques. Meyer was quoted as wondering if the NCAA would look into Auburn’s use of limos in recruiting. Meyer made the comment when he was led to believe recruits were riding in the limos. That was wrong, but Meyer was wrong to comment on it. He also made reference to coaches tearing off their shirts (Tennessee) in the recruiting process.

Even Dan Mullen, the mild-mannered new head coach at Mississippi State, got in a shot at Auburn’s limos, suggesting the money at his place went to stuff for the players and not fancy cars for the coaches.

Knock off the talk of rumors that another coach might be moving on. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier told Paul Finebaum that he had heard the Meyer to Notre Dame rumors like everybody else. Ten years ago that was probably a harmless remark. Not now.

Here’s the issue, and it’s a simple one: The price of playing poker in this league has really gone up in this decade.  The SEC has won three straight national championships. The SEC has four coaches (Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier) who have won national titles. Three of those, Miles ($3.751 million), Saban ($3.75 million), and Meyer ($3.5 million) are among the highest paid coaches in the sport. Into that high-energy, high-ego mix add Kiffin, the young Tennessee coach who was hired to bring the swagger back to the Vols and Auburn’s Gene Chizik, who is literally trying to stem the Tide of the powerhouse Saban is building in Tuscaloosa.

Now to be fair, it should be noted that the vast majority of the coaches in this league have not said a negative word this offseason. If you’re Mark Richt, Saban, Miles, Bobby Johnson, etc., will you be amused when Slive begins his talk? Or will you be mad because you’re having to sit through it?

Bottom line: From the commissioner’s perspective, there is too much at stake for too many people to have coaches back biting each other in public. Did we mention that the SEC is about to begin unprecedented TV contracts with CBS and ESPN that will pump a little less than $3 billion into the league over the next 15 years? No pressure there.

 Yes, the fans and the media are immensely entertained by it all. The commissioner is not. The commissioner wins.






125 comments Add your comment

Spurrier Steals The Show!!

May 26th, 2009
9:52 pm

NEWS FLASH FROM DESTIN!!! SPURRIER LEAVES LITTLE BOY KIFFIN RED FACED AND SPEECHLESS!!! Seems like while waiting for an elevator after the SEC meetings, Spurrier confronted Kiffin about his earlier statement that day regarding taking the NCAA rules test and what Spurrier had actually said. Kiffy boy was obviously flustered and intimidated and turned 5 different shades of red!!!!!!! NOT A WORD from the mighty mouthy Kiff! Guess it’s a little different when you’re face to face with the Big Boys! NO WONDER he didn’t want to go down there to face those people in Pahokee (alot easier to apologize on the phone I guess). Makes you wonder what different shades of purple he’s gonna be turning this fall!!!


May 26th, 2009
9:57 pm

Moore is not here so why speak the man’s name??

That’s just as unprofessional as he was. oops

Rabun Dawg

May 26th, 2009
10:11 pm

Althamaha, my late father was an avid fisherman and he loved to fish down that way, belonged to Eastside lodge on the Althamaha. Great memories for me down there, had my first beer with my Dad down there after high school graduation, and caught a 8lb largemouth on a Smith lake, off the main river— truly beginners luck! Yes Atlanta Gator, Homerville does exist, and not named after us Dawgs, I assure you!! As I recall, Congresswoman Blitch was from there, for whatever that may be worth? As far as Yehaw Junction, yea, a spot on the Turnpike as I recall from my traveling days.

Gen Neyland

May 26th, 2009
10:13 pm

Spurrier Steals The Show : Really..? Here’s a clip from another news story :

>>>“I have no problem with coach Spurrier,” Kiffin said Tuesday. “I just saw him in the elevator. He never apologized to me for saying I started recruiting without passing the NCAA recruiting test.”

another>>> DESTIN, Fla. — Lane Kiffin didn’t back down or hand out apologies Tuesday before he met his fellow SEC football coaches — many of whom he has called out and insulted.

Want more..? >>>“Do I love everything I had to do to get us to this point?” Kiffin said Tuesday. “No, I don’t. But we had to make an immediate impact. We couldn’t have sat back in the weeds and hoped we signed a top 10 class in a couple of years.

Spurrier Steals The Show!!

May 26th, 2009
10:46 pm

Check out Chris Low article on ESPN/SEC!

Ol' Ball Coach

May 26th, 2009
10:51 pm

Mr Kiffin, you just got SCHOOLED! One thing about Spurrier, he does not suffer fools gladly and Kiffin is a fool’s fool!!!!!!


May 26th, 2009
10:57 pm

Yep, it happened late eve after the SEC meetings. It’s also in the Birmingham paper. Ol’ Steve took him down a notch or two or three. Spurrier pulls no punches and is direct on and I think it must have taken Kiffin by surprise. He must have realized right then and there that he’s out his league!!! He’s probably still wimpering in his hotel room!!!

Island Dawg

May 26th, 2009
11:46 pm

LAC, so you post on a blog that you state deals with a boring subject and had to scroll down a whole page to do so…Glad Lake Martin was fun and you survived the weekend intact, ATL Gator. Between Colonel Tom’s and Chimney Rock that can be a really rough locale over there. Lot of floatsam on SSI this weekend but great time here as well


May 27th, 2009
3:07 am

DESTIN, Fla. — Leave it to the Head Ball Coach to steal the show.

The fireworks that some were anticipating Tuesday when the football coaches all converged at the SEC spring meetings never really materialized, but there was a classic exchange involving South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin.

As the coaches were filtering out of their meeting room and waiting for an elevator, a reporter informed Spurrier that Kiffin, albeit jokingly, had said earlier in the day that he never got an apology from Spurrier about questioning whether Kiffin had taken the recruiting test.

Spurrier sighed, slumped his shoulders and then wheeled around toward Kiffin, who was standing about five feet away waiting on the same elevator.

“I didn’t accuse you of cheating,” said an animated Spurrier, motioning toward Kiffin, who stood there with his face reddening by the second.

“What I said was, ‘Was it permissible to call recruits before you were announced head coach and had taken the [recruiting] test?’ Now, you took the test online, and I didn’t even know you could do that. I thought you had to take the test on campus … and then start calling [recruits].”

Kiffin never fired back, but Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino walked by and quipped, “You’re not getting me in the middle of this one.”

Kentucky’s Rich Brooks and Auburn’s Gene Chizik were also standing there waiting on the elevator, and they all — including Spurrier and Kiffin — got on together. There were several reporters in the area, all of whom broke out into laughter.

Before the elevator doors closed, Spurrier piped up one more time and said in his familiar tone, “I never said you broke any rules. I just said, ‘Was it permissible to make any calls?’”

Something tells me Petrino had it right earlier in the day when he joked that maybe Ultimate Fighting was the best way to settle all the recent sniping among the coaches.

“If you want to quit talking about it, just jump into that ring,” Petrino said. “That would be fun That would sell some tickets.”

One thing’s for sure: SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s heart-to-heart chat with the coaches and athletic directors Wednesday about keeping the focus on the field ought to be interesting.


May 27th, 2009
7:17 am

Did Chizik ride down to Destin in the barner limo?


May 27th, 2009
7:26 am

If you ask any sports fan what sport does the best job marketing themselves to the public most would tell you it is the WWF. The story lines and all that hype is why the fans pack the stadiums. All the fans know it is fake yet can’t help themselves by staying away. Slive should know the SEC just signed a new $3 billion dollar TV contract. ESPN has college football live on every day and they want something to keep this program as must see TV. I may hate Lame Kitten, but maybe he is the Rowdy Roddy Piper of the league and Layla is the fluff ball these wrestlers bring along to give these fans some eye candy. I say lets get ready to rumble and bring the fans out to see the greatest show in football. Maybe one day we can have a steal cage football match with no refs and let the blood fly as FL and TN play some football after Lame Kitten and Urban Meyer wrestle rather than flip a coin before the game to decide who gets the ball. You guys know you would want to see Layla don her old cheerleader outfit. Slive you have a gold mine here work it as the nasty manager with snide remarks about the ACC.


May 27th, 2009
7:59 am

Urban Meyer does not strike me as the type of guy that really gives a damn what anybody says, including some nobody like Mike Slive. Nor does Steve Spurrier, for that matter.

Bill King

May 27th, 2009
8:44 am

Headin’ down riva….little canoe trip…headin to Aintry!


May 27th, 2009
9:05 am

Enter your comments here


May 27th, 2009
9:08 am

Tennessee wins the SEC this year. Put that in your pipe, Tony, and smoke it. The Kiffin father-son duo makes this year a lot more interesting.


May 27th, 2009
11:34 am

I thought jimthorpe was dead?

[...] blogers, have been entertained by the back and forth talk between coaches through the media.  SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is not entertained and he wants the SEC coaching Fraternity to can it or….  I’ll admit it makes them sound childish and kind of idiotic but as a bloger it has been [...]

SEC King

May 27th, 2009
12:49 pm

I heard Lane Kiffin may rip his shirt off at key points during a game to get his team fired up!


May 27th, 2009
12:56 pm

How could all of you not mention Intercourse, Pennsylvania with its post office to stamp those words on your postcard.


May 27th, 2009
12:58 pm

Climax, GA.?


May 27th, 2009
1:00 pm

Hardon County, Kentucky?


May 27th, 2009
1:01 pm

Upurs, Florida. Not a place, just a comment.


May 27th, 2009
2:45 pm

Auburn will win the West! Watch and see….Watch and see.

[...] Commish to coaches: Knock it off SEC Commish to coaches: Knock it off | Mr. College Football "I don’t know, we haven’t played Alabama yet." — Vince Lombardi after being asked what [...]


May 27th, 2009
4:13 pm

Hey Aubie:

We(That’s The University of Georgia)were still good enough on defense to beat your ass in Aubarn last year!!!No-that isn’t a typo !!