Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive speaks during a press conference. (AP Photo)
BIRMINGHAM — SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s main objective at the moment is for the Big Five conferences to gain autonomy within the NCAA to be better help athletes.
However, there are more issues on his mind.
Slive shared them with the media Monday during an Associated Press Sports Editors regional meeting in at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Here are his thoughts on various issues surrounding the SEC from a question and answer session.
Should have the 10-second rule about waiting to snap the football passed?
“We needed a competition committee. That issue should have been placed in a football competition committee to look at the game. We’ve done that in men’s basketball. We meet every year to see how the game is being played and the officiating affects the game. That would have been a perfect subject to look at the game, and then come up with an interpretation. Then it goes to the rules people if they recommend something. This debate exposed a glaring error on the process.”
Are you worried about the lack of cable carriers for the SEC Network?
“Instead of being disappointed, we are actually ecstatic. No one could announce a distribution provider at the time of the announcement of the network. No one could announce they have a national distributor five months before lunch. Everyone can get the SEC network. You get it on Dish, if not you can change to Dish. Our goal is to be fully distributed by launch on the 14th of August.”
Will there be a nine-game conference football schedule?
“We have had a lot of discussion at different levels. We have been working on it the last year. We’ll decide soon for the 2016 season. We are looking at eight games with or without permanence (against cross-divisional rival), nine games with or without permanence and maybe one offshoot of that. Of all the formats there’s a series of advantages and disadvantage. People will have to make a decision knowing there could be disadvantages.”
How do you feel about the football playoff?
“I feel pretty good about it. I’ve talked about it for 10 years. I felt the polls treated undefeated teams nicely and it’s hard to go undefeated in our league. It was a long arduous task to get where we need to be. Now I didn’t know we would win seven (national titles) in a row, but we are in a better place now. One piece that means a lot to me is that we participate in the Orange Bowl three to five times in 12 years. That’s something new. The other something new is the Sugar Bowl and where the game is played. I wanted it played on Jan. 1 in prime time. The Sugar Bowl will follow the Rose Bowl. The next generation of fans will see those two games in the same window, and that will make the Sugar Bowl the kind of game the Rose Bowl is.”
Is four a good number for teams in the playoff?
“It’s a good number because it’s the number we can do. The good thing about the playoff, it doesn’t change the structure. It doesn’t affect the school calendar and doesn’t go late in January. It’s one (extra) game for two teams.
How has Missouri and Texas A&M fit in with the SEC?
“They’ve been great additions in every way. The football scheduling has been the hardest thing. That has to get done still.”
Should off-the-field football coaches be limited?
“There’s a lot of discussion about personnel in terms of coaching staffs. That’s one of the issues the five conferences will address once we get the autonomy.”
How do you feel about the 1-and-done basketball players?
“It’s not a good rule. It’s a bad rule. It’s academically a bad rule. When a young man leaves after one year it’s statistically low he’ll come back and get a degree. If he stays two or three it’s easier to come back. It’ not our rule. It’s not the NCAA rule. It’s an NBA rule. If they changed the rule we would be delighted so our kids stay longer.”
Do you still want basketball to improve nonconference scheduling?
“Some schedules have already been made. It’s what happens going forward what counts. I can tell you we’ve had requests from schools about who they schedule, and we said absolutely not.”
Is the basketball officials work schedule too much? Should it be regulated?
“We would have to change the entire structure to do that. They are independent contractors. We assign them. We would like them to officiate a reasonable amount of games. To do that, we need a new structure. We haven’t thought about it.”
Should there be a universal drug policy?
“I don’t think you’ll see a national policy. Our league has discussed it and we decided to not have a league-wide policy. There are so many issues to a young man. They want to treat it as behavioral issue and not drug issue. A conference-wide policy doesn’t give enough flexibility.”
Can you make media access to teams better?
“We tired. A few years ago the conference put forth an access proposal, but we could not get it passed. I favor access, it’s important, but I can’t get it passed.”