The SEC’s annual spring meetings are usually relatively dull and pedestrian. But there’s an item of business this week in Destin that certainly should catch the attention of Florida football fans.
The league will be voting on a proposal that would lift all SEC restrictions on athletes who want to transfer from one league school to another if their original schools have received a postseason ban by the NCAA, according to the USA Today.
The proposal is being sponsored by Florida and Texas A&M, and if it passes, would have an immediate impact on wide receiver Van Jefferson, who transferred to UF in January from Ole Miss, which is under NCAA probation and banned from postseason play in 2018.
If the new rule goes into effect, it would help clear the way for Jefferson to become eligible immediately. He also would need to receive a waiver from the NCAA seeking immediate eligibility.
UF has not yet sent a waiver request to the NCAA for Jefferson or wide receiver Trevon Grimes, the Ohio State transfer who is seeking immediate eligibility based on the fact he transferred to UF to be closer to a close family member dealing with a significant health issue.
If Jefferson and Grimes are ruled eligible for the 2018 season, it could have a significant impact on Florida’s offense, which has been lacking playmakers at wide receiver in recent years.
Jefferson and Grimes both stood out in the spring by consistently making plays.
Jefferson already is a proven playmaker in the SEC. In his two seasons with the Rebels, he combined to catch 91 passes for 999 yards and four touchdowns.
Grimes, a five-star recruit coming out of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas, played in two games as a true freshman at Ohio State last fall, catching two passes for 20 yards.
Along with impacting transfers within the conference, the proposal being voted on at the spring meetings this week also would impose a substantial financial penalty on schools that have been banned from postseason play in football or basketball.
All postseason revenue — from the NCAA, SEC or bowl games — would be withheld and could be worth millions.
The SEC currently withholds postseason revenue from schools banned from the postseason, but returns some of the money if the school is not involved in any major NCAA infractions over a five-year period.