Notebook: SEC sends warning shots on autonomy; artificial noise rule relaxed

jkendall@thestate.comMay 30, 2014 

Sandstorm plays at Williams-Brice Stadium


— SEC officials continued their saber rattling Friday over the future of autonomy for the Big Five conferences, which will be put to a vote in August.

“If it doesn’t pass, the next move would be to go to a Division IV,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Friday on the final day of the conference’s annual spring meetings. “I hope everyone realizes this is the way to maintain the collegiate model. It would be a disappointment and, in my view, a mistake not to adopt the model.”

On Thursday, South Carolina president Harris Pastides said college sports should give up amateur status if the measure doesn’t pass. As a member of the NCAA’s governance steering committee, Pastides will play a large role in pushing the legislation.

“I don’t think it’s a no-brainer or a slam dunk, but the indicators are right now that everybody wants it to happen,” Pastides said Friday.

The SEC did vote to lower the current threshold being suggested to pass new legislation within the Big Five.

More Sandstorm

More noise is coming your way in Williams-Brice Stadium and at other venues in the league. SEC schools will now be able to play music or pipe in noise (and fans will be able to use artificial noisemakers) at all times except from the moment the center goes over the ball to the time the play is blown dead.

Relaxed requirement

The SEC will now allow schools to administer the waiver process for incoming graduate transfers at an institutional level, which should speed up the process and eliminate a concern of coaches that some athletes were going to play in other conferences simply so as to avoid what could be a three-week wait for the conference office to administer the waiver process. If the school misapplies the waiver process, that team would have to wait three years before being able to handle another waiver request on its own.

Status quo savers

The conference wants the current signing day calendar to remain in place but will suggest a one-day early signing period on the Monday after Thanksgiving if a change is made at the NCAA level. Only players who have taken no official visits would be eligible for that early signing period under the SEC’s plan.

“If push comes to shove and we are up against it, we think our proposal is better than other proposals but we want it to stay the same,” Slive said.

On tap on hold

Changing the league’s alcohol policies to allow sale of beer in public areas of stadiums was not officially discussed this week, Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin said.

“We know it’s getting in and nobody has burned down our stadiums, so does that mean we should take the next step,” Stricklin said.

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