Earlier this month, 330 NCAA member institutions and conferences had an opportunity to override a decision that allowed schools to offer multi-year scholarships to athletes this year. A total of 62.12% of those voting favored the override. But a 62.5% vote was needed to actually nix plans for the guaranteed scholarships. FAIL.
All that was needed to override the measure were two more votes in favor of changing back to the year-by-year pacts. Below — thanks to The Chronicle of Higher Learning — you can see how each SEC school voted (as well as the league’s official vote):
Alabama — Support Override
Arkansas — Do Not Override
Auburn — Do Not Override
Florida — Do Not Override
Georgia — Do Not Override
Kentucky — Do Not Override
LSU — Support Override
Mississippi State — Do Not Override
Missouri — Do Not Override
Ole Miss — Do Not Override
South Carolina — Do Not Override
Tennessee — Support Override
Texas A&M — Support Override
Vanderbilt — Do Not Override
Southeastern Conference — Do Not Override
As you can see, only four schools voted to put the kibosh on the multi-year scholarship plan: Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Yet most SEC coaches have made it clear that they aren’t in favor of this new option. Obviously, they would prefer to have as much roster flexibility as possible.
The SEC’s presidents — the coaches’ bosses — overruled them. Again. Just as they did last summer when the SEC decided to put a 25-man soft cap on football signing classes.
From time to time you’ll hear columnists say that football coaches in the SEC are the most powerful men on their campuses. It’s good for a cheap laugh. It’s an easy line to toss into a story aimed at painting the league as a football-first, everything-else-second kind of conference.
Unfortunately, that’s a lie. While football coaches might be the richest men on their campuses, they aren’t the most powerful. The league’s presidents made that clear once again with their votes on multi-year scholarships.