DESTIN, Fla. — This year’s Southeastern Conference spring meetings have produced no shortage of meaty topics, and league commissioner Mike Slive answered questions about them all on Tuesday. While he reiterated that nothing with be final until Friday, he did give some illuminating answers on several topics.
By TEREZ PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
• Slive, in so many words, said the SEC’s coaches and athletic directors have indicated a strong preference for a four-team playoff at the end of the regular season because it “enhances” and “preserves” the regular season. Slive also said there seems to be a preference toward such a playoff working within the bowl system, though they haven’t yet come to a consensus on the best way to select those four teams.
• Slive said the league is leaning toward an 18-game conference schedule in basketball. Only one format for such a schedule is currently under consideration, but that could change.
• Slive said the SEC is currently reviewing various ways to increase the money that is awarded to athletes overall for “cost of attendance.” He hopes to have a consensus at the end of the week.
• Slive was coy about the possibility of revamped TV deals, only saying that the league is in discussions with its TV partners and that the league maintains there’s added value to the contracts with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC.
• South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has publicly supported a plan to only count division games in the SEC standings. Slive said the plan will be discussed this week, but he all but shot it down when he said it’s “hard” for him to think about a conference game that doesn’t count..
• Slive said the majority of his football coaches seem to be on board with the concept of permanent rivals, and while the league hopes to nail down a conference schedule for the foreseeable future this week, he seemed to shoot down reports on Tuesday that the league will release a 12-year schedule.
“That’s a long time,” he said.