SEC keeping schedule format for now

SEC keeping schedule format for now

June 1st, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

This image made July 12, 2012 shows Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive posed at the SEC headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

IN THE MONEY

SEC revenue distribution over the years:

1980 : $4.1 million

1990: $16.3 million

2000: $73.2 million

2010: $209.0 million

2013: $289.4 million

Source: SEC office

SEC Southeastern Conference

The Southeastern Conference is getting wealthier, and it's standing pat in football scheduling.

In other words, more of the same on both fronts.

League commissioner Mike Slive capped another spring meeting in Destin, Fla., by announcing Friday afternoon that a record $289.4 million will be distributed to its institutions, or $20.7 million to each of the 14. The SEC distributed $241.5 million last spring when the league contained 12 members, with each school receiving $20.1 million.

"Obviously we passed out a bit of money to our folks," Slive said in a news conference. "It's the highest in our history, and we hope to be able to tell you that every year from here on out."

The SEC has experienced record revenue distribution each year since 1991, when $20.6 million was shared by 10 schools.

Despite this week's debates over a nine-game conference football schedule and whether permanent cross-divisional matchups should be eliminated, SEC athletic directors voted to keep the 6-1-1 format intact through the 2015 season. The 6-1-1, in which a team plays six divisional opponents, one permanent foe from the opposite division and one rotating foe from the opposite division, went into effect last year after Missouri and Texas A&M joined the league.

The 2014 schedule originally was supposed to be revealed in Destin, but Slive said it should be finalized within a few weeks.

Bridge schedules are now being used four consecutive years, but Slive hopes by the end of next year's meeting that a permanent plan can be in place for 2016 and beyond. That would mean finally deciding between eight or nine league games and whether to protect cross-divisional rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia if eight games continue.

Athletic directors decided against adopting a leaguewide substance-abuse policy. Georgia president Michael Adams and athletic director Greg McGarity spoke out this week in favor of such a measure, but Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters Thursday night in Mobile that he and other coaches are adamantly against the concept.

"I think it was pretty unanimous that we would all like to handle our drug and alcohol situations in-house," Saban said. "We all have policies in place, and I think our policy has been effective in helping our players. I am for continuing to have the same kind of program that we've had and not change it because somebody else wants to make it something that the SEC does -- which I don't even think the SEC wants to do.

"I don't want to speak for them, but I didn't see a lot of support for it."

South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has been outspoken the past couple of years about paying players in football and men's basketball and said coaches in those sports this week supported a plan to increase the worth of a scholarship by $4,000. Slive hinted that the NCAA's failure to add to the value of scholarships could someday result in prominent conferences pulling away from the governing body.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.