SEC Meetings: Day 3 News and Notes

DESTIN, FL – The SEC's executive committee is expected to ratify today a proposal that will give Commissioner Mike Slive authority to identify questionable secondary schools. Discussion on the issue dominated the first day of the committee's gatherings here today as the conference's spring meetings wind to a close.

"By (Friday) afternoon, we're going to have a rule on this that will be very clear," said Vanderbilt chancellor Gordon Gee. "It is my sense that the commissioner is going to have a great deal of discretion in what we are going to expect of him."

The subject of "diploma mills" has gained national attention recently as schools such as the now defunct University High in Miami and Philadelphia Lutheran Christian drew fire for giving out bogus credits to make athletes eligible for college. Gee has heard one example of a student earning 36 credit hours in a month with an A average at such a school, he said.

The SEC is expected give Slive the power to rule which correspondence and prep schools are too fringe to be allowed to count toward eligibility at SEC schools. NCAA is investigating how to handle and classify such schools, but the SEC hopes to get ahead of the curve, Gee said.

"These type of schools are not in the best interest of the conference," Gee said. "What I believe and what I believe my 11 colleagues believe is this is a real opportunity for the SEC to take a leadership role in the nation."

The touchy issue for the executive committee is not what to do in the future but what to do with the players who already have signed letters of intent with SEC schools after attending questionable schools. Georgia is not believed to have any athletes who fall into that category.

"We're still wrestling with that," Gee said.

That topic will be discussed today as the executive committee votes on several matters pertaining to the league, Gee said

FUNNY NUMBERS: Speaking of getting around academic requirements, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier thinks the APR rules are going to be a boon for college football walk-ons. Spurrier won't hesitate to give a senior walk-on a scholarship just before that player is about to graduate in order to help his APR scores, he said.

"We all have to do that," Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer said. "It's a book keeping measure as much as anything."

BIG MONEY: The Southeastern Conference will announce its revenue dispersal today, and, from what Gee said Thursday, it'll be another big number.

"By revenue production, we certainly are the powerhouse (conference) in this country, and we're grateful for that, particularly when you're Vanderbilt," he said. "I come here and take home sacks of money."

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