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Volume 24 No. 114
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SEC Hires Greg Shaheen To Help With Basketball Scheduling After A "Bad Year"

The SEC, on the heels of what Commissioner Mike Slive called a “bad year” in men's basketball, has "hired former NCAA Tournament guru Greg Shaheen as a scheduling consultant," according to Mark Long of the AP. Shaheen gave "detailed presentations to coaches and athletics directors during the league’s annual spring meetings this week." SEC schools will send their "non-conference schedules to the league office for evaluation and possibly renovation." Slive said, “We’re going to make sure we’re playing the kind of schedules that will position us to put the number of teams in the (NCAA) Tournament that we have traditionally over the years." Shaheen this week handed "every SEC coach a 20-page report that broke down the league’s non-conference schedules from last year, with details that included how every game -- win or lose -- affected conference power ratings" (AP, 5/30).

: ESPN Senior VP/College Sports Programming Burke Magnus said that the net "feels confident" that the Birmingham-based BBVA Compass Bowl will "remain tied to the SEC." In Birmingham, Jon Solomon notes the SEC is in the "process of negotiating new bowl deals beginning with the 2014 season." The ESPN-owned bowl will "lose title sponsor BBVA Compass after this season." It "shares the second-to-last pick of SEC teams" with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Magnus expects a "similar location for Birmingham in the selection order" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 5/31).

LEADING THE WAY: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker noted Georgia President Michael Adams wants the SEC "to adopt a conference-wide substance-abuse policy so that athletes who violate it will get the same penalties at all schools." Adams said, "I think the conference ought to provide national leadership in that area" (ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION, 5/31).

PAY FOR PLAY: Alabama AD Bill Battle said that he "isn't necessarily opposed to paying college players but questions how it could happen." Battle said, "I know the conference (SEC) is on record as saying they want a (cost-of-attendance scholarship) stipend for all athletes. I don't see how you can pay one set of some players on a team more than others. The Olympic model might be something where you put money in a trust and it goes to that individual and they don't use it until after they graduate." He continued, "If you start to pay fair market value to those that the market is for, which is football and men's basketball, then how do you pay them and don't pay softball and rowing and swimming and diving and women's sports? If you go on market value, we're telling some people that they aren't worth much. We're paying what the market tells you" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 5/31).