DESTIN, Fla. -– There has been a lot of chatter, but no action, at the SEC meetings about the hot-button issue of conference expansion.
And that's just fine with University of Georgia President Michael Adams, who believes the SEC and its commissioner, Mike Slive, should move slowly -- if at all -- on the expansion front.
"I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to it, and I advised the commissioner the same," Adams said Wednesday. "I think we're in the driver's seat. We've got the strongest conference field in America, and the only reason that we would ever need to do anything would be if there was an arrangement that brought additional strength.
"But I think most people are happy with the size of this conference, and I also think there is a certain cultural strength that you get in the Southeast. We literally fight like cats and dogs, but we also have a lot of respect for Florida or Kentucky or Vanderbilt or whomever else. If you have lived in this part of the country much of your life and grown up here, there is a cultural element to SEC football. I think it is one of our strengths that we ought to move beyond very cautiously, if ever."
The issue of expansion by major conferences has been a much-talked-about topic since late last year, when the Big Ten said it would consider adding members. That spawned wild speculation of 16-team super-conferences that might alter the landscape of college athletics.
Slive said Tuesday the SEC will be "thoughtful" and "strategic" about the issue "if there's a significant shift in the conference paradigm." The SEC is not expected to go beyond that posture this week, but there has been plenty of conjecture about the topic between meetings.
Asked if Texas would make a nice addition to the SEC, LSU football coach Les Miles quipped: "Or the Green Bay Packers, one of the two."
Hoops change tabled
SEC men's basketball coaches, during a meeting with athletics directors Wednesday, discussed possible changes in how the conference tournament is seeded. The issue was tabled for further study.
The tournament currently is seeded by division, creating a situation this past season where an 11-5 East team (Tennessee) had to play a first-round game while two 9-7 West teams (Mississippi State and Ole Miss) got byes. There are various ideas for change, from eliminating the divisional format to tweaking the seeding method. The coaches found that each idea presented unintended ramifications.
"We need to study it much more in-depth, I think, before we take a stance," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "I do think you should reward regular-season play."
SEC football coaches extensively discussed the idea of an early signing period in recruiting but could not reach a consensus. ... Georgia offensive tackle Clint Boling will resume full workouts within two or three weeks after recently undergoing arthroscopic surgery to "clean up" an ankle, coach Mark Richt said. Boling had sprained the ankle a couple of times, Richt said.
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