SEC Media Days 2023: Greg Sankey defends federal NIL assistance and clarifies the conference’s position on expansion.

Greg Sankey, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, is not only the face of the most influential conference in college football, but also one of the most influential figures in college athletics. His viewpoints matter, and his vision establishes the vibe for what’s in store. During his yearly introductory statements to start off SEC Media Days on Monday, Sankey tended to the controversial problems that characterize this extraordinary time in the realm of school games, and particularly inside his own meeting.

Athletes can now profit from their success in the name, image, and likeness (NIL) era, but the NIL process’s lack of structure is one of the most pressing issues. Sankey, alongside Alabama mentor Scratch Saban and a large group of other school football trainers and heads, visited Washington D.C. recently to ask administrators for government regulation administering the cycle.

“I’ll try to be as clear as possible: Our exercises in Congress or conversations with states – – and even conversations of meeting arrangements – – are not tied in with removing these new name, picture, and resemblance open doors. In numerous ways, it’s been a net positive for youngsters,” Sankey said. ” However, we as a whole realize there are stories – – a few stories told and others not told – – of commitments made yet not satisfied, of promptings offered yet not gave, of void responsibilities of Nothing arrangements that made a larger number of inquiries than gave responds to, and different ways of behaving in this space that properly objective concern.”

State legislators who have not responsibly governed their respective NIL laws were the focus of Sankey’s speech. Sankey believes that Congressional assistance may be the only option. Whether that is a sensible way, in any case, is not yet clear.

Sankey stated, “If states will not enforce the laws, and states will prohibit the NCAA or conferences from enforcing these reasonable policies, then Congressional action is the only way to provide a national uniform standard for name, image, and likeness activity and to draw the lines around the boundaries that do not become simply pay for play.”

The carousel of conference realignment slows down—for the time being, Texas and Oklahoma joined the SEC at this very moment in 2021, kicking off the first of many moves. After two years, the realignment merry go round is turning undeniably less energetically. However that merry go round never completely stops, Sankey appears content with the meeting’s short term once the Longhorns and Sooners join the crease.

“We’re very attentive to what’s happening around us, whether those are from all of your fine investigative writing or maybe opinions, and then focusing on our growth to 16 because it’s an enormous task,” Sankey stated. “It’s [expansion] not been a topic in the Southeastern Conference other than providing updates.” Do I believe it’s finished? People will say that I get to choose.

“At the present time it seems others will conclude that before we need to go with any choices. My view is we know what our identity is. We’re agreeable as an association. We are concentrating on expanding to 16. We’ve reestablished competitions. We’re geologically bordering with the right sort of philosophical arrangement, and we can remain at that degree of super gathering.”

Questions about ongoing scheduling In relation to expansion, the SEC has needed to find a permanent scheduling format recently. After Texas and Oklahoma arrive, Sankey is unable to convince his schools to adopt a full-time scheduling plan. As a result, he is forced to use the temporary 1-7 model, which gives each team one permanent opponent and seven rotating opponents in 2024. That configuration, nonetheless, has not been cemented past next season, and the chance of a nine-game 3-6 model remaining parts on the table.

Sankey stated, “That nonconference game issue was one of the bigger elements.” Presently, part of the inspiration, I think, going ahead is I truly think our eight-game timetable is really wonderful. You might say, “Wow, Schedule A is tough,” and then you might say, “That school has got a tough schedule and all the way through,” as we went through the final filtering. There are 16 truly testing plans.

“But there are some important games, which we’ll call rivalry games, and we’ll have to decide whether we play some of them every other year or every year?” Sankey proceeded. ” The eight-game organization we can safeguard one on a yearly premise and the other seven pivot. In the nine-game arrangement, we realize we can safeguard up to three, turn the other six and accomplish both that reasonableness and that equilibrium issue.”