DESTIN, FLA. — The SEC football and basketball coaches have finally emerged from their meeting rooms after discussing for more than four hours this morning possible legislation regarding their respective sports.
Over the next couple of hours they will share their opinions on over-signing and tournament seeding with their respective athletic directors. Exactly what those opinions are remain secretive.
“I think we all came to some conclusions together that are in the best interest of our league and the players,”Georgia coach Mark Richt. “That’s the big thing. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing what’s in the best interest of the players.”
Football coaches were debating new “roster management” legislation that could further restrict the number of players they can sign to scholarships each year. Basketball coaches are discussing possibly changing the SEC tournament seeding format to eliminate the divisional finish component.
Said Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox: “I’ll say this, we had heated dialogue. We had excellent dialogue, to be honest with you. We’ve been asked not to say much until after we meet the ADs. But we had very active dialogue, the most active dialogue since I’ve been here, regarding a lot of topics. But I think the general consensus is that the coaches in the league now are genuinely concerned with doing things to benefit the league.”
Coaches will share the results of their straw-poll voting with the athletic directors in a meeting that is currently being conducted here at the Sandestin Beach Resort. After the meeting breaks up, the coaches will head home and the ADs will share their opinions and those of their coaches with their respective presidents.
Any actual legislative enactments won’t take place until Friday when the presidents cast the only meaningful votes in the process.
I tried to get an idea from coaches how discussions went in their respective meeting rooms.
“I thought it was very good,” Richt said. “Everybody has a great mutual respect for each other. I think we worked everything out pretty good. Should be interesting.”
Said Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt: “it was a good discussion and we’re anxious to get in here with our ADs now. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It will be interesting.”
“You get our group together and there are a lot of opinions,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “The general consensus is that room is, when I look around the room you’re talking about the best coaches in football, and they’re there to improve and the Southeastern Conference and to protect and improve the game of football. We’re all on the same page on improving not only our conference but the game of college football. . . . We’re all working together to make it in the best interest of the student-athletes.”