SEC expands ‘serious misconduct’ rule – but only for transfers

The SEC, as expected, acted to strengthen its year-old rule against signing transfer students with a history of ‘serious misconduct.’

But, also as expected, it did not expand it to include high school players, which would have prevented Mississippi State from accepting controversial recruit Jeffrey Simmons.

Last year, the SEC passed a Georgia-sponsored rule to prohibit its schools from accepting transfer students who at any point of their enrollment in college had been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence, or “other forms” of sexual violence.

This week the rule was expected to include the following: Dating violence, stalking, or “conduct of a nature that creates serious concerns about the safety of others.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was asked about that vague wording.

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“It’s a vague world. It’s a recognition that you can’t define everything within one page,” Sankey said.

Asked if there was a dialogue this week about expanding the legislation to include high school players, Sankey said: “We’ll continue to talk.”

That was different from earlier in the week, when Sankey appeared to shoot it down.

Sankey also appeared concerned about comments the previous day from Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin that the SEC office was consulted and comfortable with the decision to suspend him one game.

“I would say awareness and comfort are two different things,” Sankey said.

Sankey acknowledged that he watched the video of the Simmons incident “several weeks ago.”

“It is a difficult circumstance,” Sankey said.

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