SEC football: Commissioner Mike Slive to propose new rules about over-signing scholarships

semerson@ledger-enquirer.comMay 19, 2011 

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has prepared legislation that involves the practice of over-signing -- a hot-button issue this year around the league. And Slive has a view on it, and hopes the legislation passes.

But the commissioner isn’t disclosing his view or what the package’s specifics.

“There will be action because (the proposals) will come forth as proposed legislation for the presidents, the ADs and the other groups to opine on. But I feel good about them,” Slive said during an interview this week. “So I think the goal is to make sure that our prospective student-athletes are treated in a way that is as they should be treated, like students our treated. And I think this package does that.”

The package, as Slive described it, involves not only over-signing, but all issues relating to what he called “roster management.”

“In other words, it’s more than just the question of over-signing or grayshirting,” Slive said. “It’s a question of over-signing, grayshirting, early admissions, summer school admission. We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues, that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion. So then it will be an important discussion item in Destin.”

The over-signing issue - teams signing more players than they have room for - has garnered plenty of attention, with SEC schools coming down on different sides of the issue. Georgia head coach Mark Richt has been outspoken against it, calling it “an awful thing to do.” But South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has said it was something his program needed to do because of the academics in his state.

Slive indicated that more debate has gone on behind the scenes.

“Well, we’ve had some discussions to get the proposed legislation in place. I can tell you that the First Amendment in the Southeastern Conference is alive and well,” he said. “I have a view and not a vote. And I will certainly exercise my view. ... I like this legislation.”

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