DESTIN, Fla. ‚Äî The idea of putting some extra cash in the pockets of players was again bounced around at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings Wednesday.
South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, who proposed last year giving football players $300 a game, tried again to spread the wealth.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre trying to get extra money for living expense, academic expense, game-related expense to our players because of the tremendous amount of money ‚Äî billions ‚Äî they‚Äôre bringing,‚Äù Spurrier said.
The NCAA in January delayed implementing a $2,000 expense allowance, but Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said fall signees from 2011 will be receiving $2,000 stipends for sports that offer full scholarships, including basketball.
‚ÄúWe think they need more and deserve more,‚Äù said Spurrier. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs as simple as that.‚Äù
Football coaches voted 14-0 in favor of that, but there is serious doubt whether paying football players between $3,500-$4,000 for the entire year would fit into the college athletic model.
‚ÄúThere are several coaches that would love to do more,‚Äù McGarity said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôd love to do more, but $2,000 seems to be the number that the (NCAA) committee has basically run with right now.‚Äù
From a league standpoint, McGarity said, ‚Äúthe SEC has always been behind doing things for student-athletes. We‚Äôre all on board.‚Äù
A Georgia win against Ole Miss will continue to count the same as a win against Florida.
Spurrier‚Äôs proposal to make division games only determine division champions didn‚Äôt gain much traction. It was floated after South Carolina went unbeaten in the SEC East last year but did not make it to the league title game. Georgia, meanwhile, will avoid the top teams in the West for the second straight year.
‚ÄúThe more that was discussed, the more everybody understood that‚Äôs probably not going to happen,‚Äù Georgia coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúYour crossover games are going to have to count. It‚Äôs true in just about every other sport in America. ‚Ä¶In any given year, it may be good for you, it may not.‚Äù
There wasn‚Äôt discussion on the topic in the athletic directors‚Äô meeting.
Said LSU‚Äôs Les Miles: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm certainly for the best way to pick the divisional champions. I think I was moved when everyone said, you know, ‚ÄòHow can you play a game in your conference that did not count?‚Äô‚Äù
An SEC bylaw could be revised this week that would make equestrian an SEC championship sport.
The change would make any sport that has 25 percent of SEC schools sponsoring teams able to award an SEC champion. That‚Äôs a change from 33 percent.
Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina and new member Texas A&M have equestrian teams.
McGarity gave a thumbs-up when asked Wednesday if it seemed to have momentum.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre keeping our fingers crossed, yeah,‚Äù McGarity said. ‚ÄúThat, for our program and for the other three programs, is really important. I know it gets lost in the shuffle, but it‚Äôs very difficult when you have a sport and people can‚Äôt identify with that. So you‚Äôve got 60 young women and a tremendous investment by an institution to at least have some goal to ride for.‚Äù
McGarity thinks Georgia fans will pay more attention to the sport if they know Georgia was riding against Auburn for the SEC title.
This and that
Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox wasn‚Äôt happy with a poorly attended Sunday home game on his schedule last season, but the addition of two teams could be some bring more less-than-ideal game times and dates this season for television ‚ÄúThe two additional teams has got to make it harder,‚Äù Fox said. ‚ÄúThere are more teams and they‚Äôve got to come up with more windows when to play games.‚Äù ‚Ä¶Women‚Äôs basketball is planning to stick with a 16-game schedule, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. ‚Ä¶Georgia is awaiting the test scores of defensive line signee John Atkins to qualify academically. Richt did not want to say whether any other signees still have work to do to qualify.