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SEC commissioner says league not taking secondary violations lightly



With all the recent news about SEC schools committing secondary NCAA violations, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday that secondary violations are an inevitable part of college athletics, but the league isn't turning a blind eye to serious infractions.

Slive said all secondary violations are reported to the league office and reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if punitive or corrective actions are necessary.

"Secondary infractions have been featured prominently in the media of late, but they're not new to the conference, they're not new to our institutions, and they're not new to the NCAA,'' Slive said. "In fact, secondary violations represent a reality associated with intercollegiate athletics as a highly regulated endeavor, including a 427 page manual of rules and thousands of interpretations.

"Included in the manual is a definition of secondary violations which states that a secondary violation is, and I quote, 'isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive, or other advantage, and does not include any significant recruiting inducement or extra benefit.' "

Slive said he's aware it's been suggested that some coaches are walking a fine line on those violations, with the belief that the risk is worth the potential reward, but he has reminded the league's coaches to be careful.

"As we told our coaches earlier this week in our SEC new coaches orientation program, any time any time they commit a secondary violation, they place themselves, their program, and the institution and the prospect at risk,'' he said. "The risk may be lost recruiting opportunities, lost ability to interact with prospects, and additional scrutiny for themselves and their program.'' 

Other items of interest in his annual state of the conference address included: 

- Slive said the 2008-09 season might one day be remembered as the SEC's "Golden Age" with national champions in football, baseball, men's swimming and diving, women's indoor track and field, and gymnastics. In 11 of the 20 SEC sponsored sports, either the national champion or the national runner up was from an SEC school.

-- The SEC led the nation's conferences with 41 academic All-Americans and 320 first team All-Americans.

- For the 28th consecutive season, the SEC recorded the highest total attendance of any conference in the country with 6.7 million, an average of over 75,000 a game, filling stadiums to almost 97% of capacity. More than 450,000 fans attended the league's annual spring games for an average attendance of over 37,000, which is an increase of about 6,000 over the previous year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:07pm]


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