HOOVER, Alabama (AP) – Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey echoed the NCAA president’s call for potential changes in the way college athletics is governed Monday, though he did not propose a break from the five most powerful leagues.

Sankey spoke about the need for a change to open SEC Media Days, less than a week later NCAA President Mark Emmert said it’s time to consider decentralization and deregulation of college sports. in a change from the traditional power structure.

Emmert’s stance, Sankey said, “speaks of we’re going to have to manage this differently,” but it doesn’t necessarily formally separate the Power Five conferences from the group.

“However, I think people are going to ask me that question,” Sankey said. “I think that within our programs people will ask me that question. I think people at the national level will ask me that question. But it doesn’t predict that kind of outcome right now. “

The mighty SEC and the rest of college football are gearing up for a fall season amid one of the most tumultuous periods in college sports. Aside from the heavy impacts of the pandemic, the landscape has clearly changed with a Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA last month in an antitrust case involving caps on education-related compensation.

And starting this month, athletes no longer have to worry about a lot of NCAA, school, and conference rules that had banned them from making money off their fame for things like online endorsements, endorsement deals, and personal appearances. Athletes have started signing large and small agreements to benefit from so-called coast-to-coast name, image and likeness agreements, in some cases protected by state laws that prohibit the NCAA from interfering.

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Before their session here, Florida coach Dan Mullen met with his team Monday at NIL and said it was great for the players, but an issue that needs education for both them and the coaches.

“It’s a learning curve, obviously,” Mullen said. “You’re looking at the state law that we have in Florida, and every time you are adjusting to a new law within the state and a new law that directly affected our soccer program, there is a huge learning curve.”

Schools in other states have received instructions from build your own NIL guidelines. Sankey said there is “no high level of oversight” within state law.

“Yes, there are companies that have good intentions that will support young people, but outside of our league at different levels, I have heard of young people who enter compliance offices with contracts that say they pay $ 5,000,” the SEC. said the commissioner. “They will create your brand and your website, or $ 10,000, or $ 15,000. That’s not this one-sided flow of money that everyone expects. So how do we monitor this properly? “

That may require federal congressional legislation, in some respects.

“I don’t know if we can solve each of (the problems) through federal legislation, nor, given the level of care, do I think that all elements should be regulated,” Sankey said. “I think all the elements must be understood.”

Sankey said he was skeptical that just getting voices from all the leagues would lead to a solution, considering the huge differences in financial and competitive situations. He’s also not convinced that the solution is a more aggressive punishment for violating NCAA rules, but he did ask for more timely resolutions in compliance cases.

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“I think some high-level thinking focused on specific elements is at the core of this, and we may add, but we are not going to solve all the problems and be able to legislate college athletic programs through the NCAA handbook.” , He said. . “We can govern some aspects, but 450 pages seem less relevant today than ever.”


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John Zenor, The Associated Press


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