SEC Media Days 2012: Mike Slive Continues Push for College Football Reform
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SEC commissioner Mike Slive opened up SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. on Tuesday with his State of the SEC speech that included several points that were discussed last season.
At the top of the mind of the most powerful man in college football was the future of college football. That future includes an era where student-athletes are given a stipend for full cost of attendance.
"It remains important for us to continue to focus on increasing the amount of a full scholarship to provide student-athletes with financial resources to meet the full cost of attendance," Slive said. "And we also need to eliminate rules, for example, that are hurdles for former student-athletes to come back after their eligibility is exhausted. And if they're committed to getting their degrees, we need to have financial aid rules that allow us to do that."
The NCAA rulebook is outdated, tiresome and lengthy. Slive touched on streamlining it to allow for more contact with coaches.
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"We recommend permitting the use of text messaging, the language of our student-athletes, removing hard and fast recruiting calendars to a recruiting person day model, and really regulating only what counts instead of media guide pages, letterhead logos and now the infamous cream cheese on bagels," he said.
Without naming names, Slive suggested that Penn State did not do enough to protect young people and stressed the importance of maintaining a strong sense of integrity throughout the conference.
"We must maintain an honest and open dialogue across all levels of university administration," Slive said. "There must be an effective system of checks and balances within the administrative structure to protect all who come in contact with it, especially those who cannot protect themselves."
While overall college-football reform was a hot topic for the SEC commissioner, a more pressing issue for Slive's own conference is the creation of the SEC Network.
The project, which was referred to as "Project X" at the SEC's spring meetings in Destin, Fla. in early June, has a new name now.
"There has been a whole lot of speculation about 'Project X'," Slive said. "Is it still a secret? I don't think so. But we now call it Project SEC. Our objective long-term is to work with our television partner to provide fans with greater access to favored teams, more opportunities to watch rivals and more insight into who we are: a conference of 14 great universities."
The future of college football looks bright, and it may shine brightest on the SEC, as Slive finishes his tenure as SEC commissioner in two years. He has been the leading voice of change toward a playoff system, change in the bottom line and, if he has it his way, change in the way athletes are compensated.
Barrett Sallee is a Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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