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UCF's George O'Leary says SEC acting like Civil War secessionists

A college football legal threat is similar to the most tumultuous event in American history? Yep, sounds about right.

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

It's a good bet that when you compare a trivial current event to a tragic historical event, you're going to get some backlash, but that didn't stop Central Florida football coach George O'Leary from giving it a shot.

The current event? SEC commissioner Mike Slive's threat to leave the NCAA's Division I. His historical comparison? Southern secession in the Civil War!

From the Orlando Sentinel:

"They sound like the South during the Civil War," O'Leary said of the SEC and the other saber-rattlers in the so-called Power 5 conferences. "If they don't get their way, they're going to secede and start their own country. ... I think college football is in real trouble."


"The thing that's disturbing is that college football has been fighting for years to create a level playing field and now they're trying to go the other way and create an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots," O'Leary says. "I think some of these schools have forgotten where they came from."

O'Leary coaches the reigning champions of the American Athletic Conference, meaning his program is one of the best among those that have found themselves on the outside of the power five.

That comparison might work if it wasn't just the SEC threatening secession, but when it comes to college football, the North has threatened to leave as well. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany mentioned it as a possibility last year, after which SB Nation uncovered a letter addressed to Delany from former President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis.

The parallels, they're uncanny.