HOOVER, Ala. — With his opening remarks at the kickoff of SEC media days, league commissioner Mike Slive reiterated Monday that change must come to college football and NCAA approval of autonomy for the five power conferences is paramount among those changes.
The NCAA is set to vote Aug. 7 whether to grant the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 more power to govern its 65 member schools, while remaining a part of the NCAA. Slive reiterated that, otherwise, power conferences could form a division of their own.
"As I have said before, if we do not achieve a positive outcome under the existing big tent of Division I, we will need to consider the establishment of a venue with similar conferences and institutions where we can enact the desired changes in the best interest of our student-athletes," Slive said.
He reminded the more than 1,100 media attending the event that the SEC first proposed changes in the current system in 2011, and it has been at the forefront in trying to change college athletics.
"We are not deaf to the din of discontent across collegiate athletics that has dominated the news," Slive said.
Gators open up: Florida coach Will Muschamp announced that the Gators will open eight practices to the public. Florida reports for camp Aug. 3 and holds its first practice Aug. 4. The Gators will have open practices at the Dizney Lacrosse Stadium on the following dates: Aug. 7, 8, 9 (morning practice only at an event that will be exclusive to season ticket holders), Aug. 11 (morning), 12, 13 (morning) and 14. Fan day is Aug. 16.
Marijuana talk: Auburn QB Nick Marshall was pulled from attending media days after he was cited in connection with marijuana possession on Friday.
Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said Marshall will face disciplinary action, but he declined to say what that will be.
Muschamp spoke after Malzahn and he couldn't throw any stones. It turns out Gators CB Jalen Tabor was also cited in connection with possession of marijuana (less than 20 ounces) in May.
"Jalen has faced consequences for his actions and is very remorseful, he is aware that this is not how we represent (UF)," Muschamp said.
Tweet of the day: "If SEC players keep getting busted for weed, southeastern states might soon vote to legalize marijuana." Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist John Adams.
Contact Antonya English at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Gators.