Commissioner Mike Slive kicked off SEC Media Days on Tuesday, addressing a number of significant issues affecting the SEC and college athletics.
The biggest issue Slive touched on during his speech was the matter of the NCAA. He didn't say that the NCAA has completely failed, but he did say "the NCAA has not been successful" in meeting the needs of student-athletes, and that he and other conference commissioners seem to be on the same page regarding the positives of full cost of attendance scholarships.
He also mentioned leadership issues with the NCAA. He did say that he still thinks the NCAA is the best organization to lead intercollegiate athletics, but that changes do need to be made. NCAA president Mark Emmert has taken an enormous amount of heat over the past year, and Slive and the rest of the conference commissioners certainly can't be happy about how things are going.
Some of the other issues Slive discussed:
Academic redshirts, which would allow kids with iffy academics a year to get things straightened out without the pressure of being a part of the team.
Simplifying recruiting rules, because seriously, it's badly needed.
Establishing a formal review of a nine-game schedule for football, which could happen in 2016 at the earliest. The SEC will continue with their current 6-1-1 format for the time being.
Improving out-of-conference scheduling for basketball, about which they will consult with former NCAA tournament czar Greg Shaheen.
The final announcement Slive made on Tuesday was the SEC Network's first piece of original programming, The Book of Manning. The SEC announced back in May they were starting the SEC Network in cooperation with ESPN, and the Network is on track to hit the airwaves in August, 2014. The Network is expected to show roughly 1,000 live sporting events a year, including 45 football games each fall. Each team playing another conference game would provide even more inventory for their network, should they choose to go to a nine-game schedule.