The SEC meetings took place in Destin, FL this week. It was Mike Slive's last hurrah as the commissioner of the SEC, after he announced he would be stepping down one month earlier than expected and will hand off duties to successor Greg Sankey on June 1st. Slive gave a heartfelt speech at the end of the meetings and was honored accordingly but he did not go quietly on his last day on the job. Here are the high points of the decisions the conference made and the changes we'll see going into next season.
Show Me The Money
The biggest news from the meetings was the announcement of the league's revenue numbers and cash distributions to member schools. Thanks to the addition of the SEC Network, the SEC pocketed a record $455 million in revenue in 2014 and will distribute $435 million to schools. It's the largest sum ever distributed by a collegiate conference. By comparison, the Big 12 will distribute close to $250 million. Each SEC institution will receive approximately $31.2 million, a hefty sum that is just icing on the cake for a year that was monumental for most, if not every school in the league.
The No Fun League
You may want to hold off on rushing the field and tearing down the goalposts in 2015, Ole Miss. The SEC announced that the fine for rushing the field will be raised from just $5,000 to $50,000 for a first offense. The fine will be $100,000 for a second offense and $250,000 for a third. Can you imagine a school getting fined $250,000 for rushing the field? That's just ludicrous. Sure, running onto the playing field after a big win isn't the safest thing that 10,000 college students can do all at once but why raise the fine so high?
Let's Go Camping
The SEC may be invading other parts of the country with satellite camps very soon. The Big Ten has been using satellite camps (camps held away from campus, preferably in fertile recruiting territory like the south) for years now. SEC coaches have complained about the practice since it began and the conference banned the use of the camps to its member schools. Rather than lifting the ban, the SEC currently plans to push national legislation to ban satellite camps altogether. This most likely will not pass and if and when it doesn't, Mike Slive said SEC schools can "fan out and have at it." So, fair warning to the Big Ten, get ready to see the likes of Dan Mullen, Nick Saban, and Butch Jones in your cities next year, we're coming for your recruits.
Thanks A Lot, Tom Brady
In addition to these larger issues, the SEC coordinator of officials, Steve Shaw, said that refs in the league will be "more cognizant" of deflated footballs next year and if there are concerns about ball deflation during a game, officials will "take them all back in at halftime and test them and they'd better still be where they were." So, there's technically no penalty for being caught with deflated footballs it seems but the refs will be really pissed off.
SEC officials announced that the league will no longer allow players who have been disciplined for "serious misconduct" such as domestic abuse to transfer to member institutions. New league commissioner Greg Sankey said he's unaware of any other league with such a policy.
The league also announced early season kickoff times and that CBS, who in the past hasn't carried SEC games until week 3, will be showing games during the first two weeks of the 2015 season. Here are all the times/dates/details that were released:
9/5/15: Auburn vs. Louisville (in Atlanta), 3:30 P.M. ET
9/12/15: Georgia at Vanderbilt, 3:30 P.M. ET
9/19/15: Auburn at LSU, 3:30 P.M. ET
8/31/15: Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville), 3:30 P.M. ET
11/7/15: CBS Doubleheader, 3:30 P.M. and 8 P.M. ET
11/14/15: CBS Doubleheader, 12 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. ET
11/27/15: Missouri at Arkansas, 2:30 P.M. ET