On July 21, 2011, Southeastern Conference (SEC) Commissioner Mike Slive addressed the media on the first day of the 2011 SEC Football Media Days. Instead of addressing the SEC’s success on the playing field or the accomplishments of SEC student-athletes, Slive chose to address the scandals that many major college football programs have endured over the past year. Slive stated “we don’t have the luxury of acting as if it’s business as usual. And that has been made clear by the headlines…the events giving rise to these headlines indicate that intercollegiate athletics has lost the benefit of the doubt.”
Over the course of Slive’s speech, he outlined various proposals for change in intercollegiate athletics as a consequence of these scandals. While Slive admitted that his proposed changes won’t solve every problem, he does believe that it will have an impact. Among the changes, Slive proposed are the following:
- redefine the benefits available to student-athletes (including developing a plan to provide the full cost of attendance to scholarship student-athletes);
- strengthen academic eligibility requirements for incoming freshman and JUCO transfers (including increasing the minimum GPA of incoming freshman from a 2.0 to a 2.5 and establishing an annual satisfactory progress rule at the high school level)
- modernize recruiting rules (including removing restrictions on coaches using phone calls, text messaging, social media, etc. to contact recruits and altering the current recruiting calendar); and
- continue to support the NCAA’s efforts in improving the enforcement process.
The full text of the Mike Slive 2011 SEC Football Media Day speech can be found on the SEC’s website.