SEC media days storylines -- No. 2

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 12, 2014 

Editor's note: SEC media days begin July 14. Every year, a theme seems to emerge, whether it's a tiff between coaches or a cause taken up by commissioner Mike Slive. But with less than a week until it arrives, what are the top storylines entering the annual media event? Ryan Black gives his take, counting down from 10-1.

No. 2: Autonomy, unionizing and Ed O'Bannon

At the SEC's spring meetings in May, commissioner Mike Slive issued an ultimatum: if the "Power 5" conferences — made up of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 — were not granted autonomy to provide more benefits for its athletes, there would be a push to create a "Division IV." In short, this new division would allow the "Power 5" conferences to pass its own rules and govern among themselves.

Aside from the continued push for autonomy, another popular topic involving changes to the NCAA's structure concerns athletes and their rights. Northwestern's players voted on whether to unionize in April. The Ed O'Bannon case conducted its closing arguments this week. If the plaintiff is victorious, it could open the floodgates for college players to profit off their likeness while in school.

Player representatives from every SEC school should be prepared to field questions on both these fronts once media days are underway.

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