The SEC passed a revised version of its serious misconduct policy that adds criteria to what else will be covered for student-athletes wishing to transfer into programs within the conference.
The legislation will now prevent member schools from accepting transfers who “at any point after enrollment at a college institution has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving serious misconduct.”
The term “serious misconduct” will still include instances of sexual assault and domestic violence but is now going to cover other forms of sexual violence, including “dating violence or stalking; or conduct of a nature that creates serious concerns about the safety of others.”
Georgia proposed instituting a serious misconduct policy at the conference level a year ago, which was passed at the 2015 SEC spring meetings. This revision broadens the spectrum when it comes to transfers with checkered pasts when it comes to the SEC’s definition of serious misconduct.
While the transfer policy was expanded, there were no discussions on if this should apply to incoming freshmen, especially in light of Mississippi State’s decision on Thursday to allow five-star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons to enroll on campus despite an arrest related to punching a woman repeatedly in the face.
On Friday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that while no discussions took place involving incoming freshmen, he envisions that this policy could be revisited again in the future. Sankey said there are too many variables to consider when it comes to applying a policy such as this to incoming freshmen, which includes the difficulties of obtaining legal records to anyone who is under the age of 18.
“We’ve been wrestling with this and acknowledging that this is a challenging issue,” Sankey said.
For now, Sankey said the decisions on incoming freshmen will be left up to member institutions. He did, however, point out that he isn’t comfortable with Mississippi State’s decision, just that he’s aware. But Sankey noted Simmons, based on his past, won’t have much leeway when it comes to his on-campus behavior.
“That young man will be under more scrutiny than any other student on campus,” Sankey said. “The hope is that he will fulfill the expectations now placed upon him.”
The SEC also approved four other conference proposals this week at its spring meetings.
Each institution will now receive $25,000 extra for each bowl game it participates in. For each bowl game receipt a school provides, it will keep an extra $25,000 plus a travel allowance determined by the league’s executive committee.
Programs participating in the SEC championship game in football will now be reimbursed for the cost of player and guest complimentary admissions that are used by the student-athletes listed on the travel squad. Each student-athlete is allowed up to six tickets for the SEC championship.
Distribution of NCAA sport sponsorship and grants-in-aid funds will now be divided into 15 equal shares, with each member institution receiving one share and the 15th share going to the SEC office. This is tacked on to a league byline dividing basketball revenue into 15 shares in the same manner.
The SEC is also amending the ACT/SAT score variance that will trigger a review from the testing agency. Now, the review standard will be “a composite or subscore variance of one-sixth or more of the maximum possible score for that test.” Previously, the bylaw stated that the review standard included an ACT composite score or subscore variance of six or more, an SAT composite score variance of 300 or more, or an SAT subscore variance of 150 or more.