Pay proposal ‘not on agenda'

Notebook: SEC quiet on expansion


South Carolina's Dylan Thompson stands next to head coach Steve Spurrier during a game against Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., last November. For the second year in a row, Spurrier's proposed plan to pay college football players is going nowhere. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 7:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 7:12 p.m.

DESTIN — For the second year in a row, Steve Spurrier's proposed plan to pay college football players is going nowhere.

A day after Spurrier said the league coaches unanimously agreed on a proposal that would pay players between $3,500 to $4,000 annually, Florida president Bernie Machen said there actually is no proposal and Spurrier's plan will not even be heard by the SEC presidents and chancellors at the SEC spring meetings

“There is no proposal. No,” Machen said. “There was some conversation among some coaches. We tried a proposal last year that had our backing in order to get consensus among the other universities. We settled on an amount and it did not get through to the NCAA. That's not even on our agenda.”

A year ago, Spurrier spearheaded a coaches' proposal that would pay players $300 a game, with the money coming from the coaches.

Although the SEC considered last year's proposal, the league did not present it to the NCAA.

The NCAA is considering a proposal that would pay all college athletes $2,000 a year.

Quiet on expansion front

Despite all the speculation about further expansion across the college landscape, the SEC apparently is not in the expansion mode at the moment.

“I don't see any reason to expand right now,” Machen said. “I think we've got some digestion issues with going from 12 to 14. The contracts for media are already set. We're negotiating with CBS to expand from 12 to 14. There just seems to be no logistical reason why we would expand right now. We want to see how 14 works, sort of.

“I don't see any noise. What's going on in other parts of the country is really not affecting us. If the whole world turned upside down tomorrow, we'd probably get back in that mode. We think it's pretty calm right now as far as where we are. We're tickled to death with the way expansion has worked so far.

Commissioner Mike Slive basically said the same thing about expansion Wednesday.

Tigers invading Florida

Other than the 1966 Sugar Bowl loss in Spurrier's senior season, there's not much history between Florida and Missouri. That, of course, is changing now that the two schools are division rivals.

Adding fuel to what figures to become one of those rivalry games, Missouri is making a concerted effort to expand its recruiting base into Florida, where the Tigers have had pretty much zero presence in the past.

“Where we recruit is going to be important,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “Texas has become really big for us. We're going to adjust a little bit, but we're going to maintain our ties in Texas.

“But we're getting into Florida, Atlanta and south Georgia. We have coaches in those areas (recruiting) and we're starting to market that. We have the SEC brand now (to sell to recruits in other parts of the country).”

Bad blood between ‘Dores and ‘Dogs?

The Vanderbilt-Georgia game isn't much of a rivalry game because the Bulldogs have dominated the series. But things could really heat up after what happened at the end of last year's game, when new Vandy coach James Franklin and UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham got into a heated exchange and had to be separated.

Franklin said he hasn't talked to Grantham since then, but that some of his assistants have come across him on the recruiting trail.

“Todd Grantham and our coaches have run across each other in Georgia a bunch and have had some good conversations,” Franklin said. “I'm a very emotional, passionate guy. This is personal to me.

“On the same hand, I'm a guy that once things happen, I move on. I have tremendous respect for coach (Mark) Richt and that program, and Coach Grantham. I think he did everything to support his players and he had their back. I was doing the same thing.”

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