Friday is Business Day at the SEC meetings in Destin, Florida, with 11 legislative proposals — some minor housekeeping matters, other with a fair amount of importance — to be voted on by the schools’ chief executive offers.
The proposal receiving the most attention has been Proposal No. 9 on the agenda regarding transfers. The full reading is as follows:
“(This is to) specify that an individual who has requested and received a release from a signed SEC Financial Aid Agreement shall no longer be subject to the terms and conditions of SEC Bylaw 15.01.2 or the SEC Financial Aid Agreement.”
Even within that proposal, there are distinct issues that have to be resolved. What if the player is a graduate transfer? (There seems to be some support for lifting such restrictions.) What if he or she has not graduated, a circumstance that almost all the league’s football coaches spoke against, calling it “free agency” or, in the more graphic words of Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, “a zoo?” What if the player is transferring from a school that is on NCAA probation?
Alabama head coach Nick Saban led the call for more clarity on the issues this week, a position echoed by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in his final press conference prior to the Friday vote.
“I’m one who has said to our membership and will say again — I think you need to decide where you want to be on this issue,” Sankey said.
Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson was asked more than once on Wednesday about “one-and-done” basketball players — he twice reminded the assembled reporters that neither the NCAA nor the Southeastern Conference controlled the issue but that it was a decision of the NBA Players’ Association — but said he thought the one-year tenure of 2018 star Collin Sexton was “a big positive” for both the player and the school.
“I think it was a great experience,” Johnson said. “I think in some ways, if it was up to him, he’d love to come back because he had such a great experience, especially in the classroom. And I thought at the end of the year, he started to figure some things out about defenses and being a leader on our team. At the end of the year, just when he was getting closer to that point of going to a Level One type of a player, then it was over. But I think it was a great win-win for us.
“If all goes well, what I’m hearing is he’s going to go somewhere in the top 10. Hopefully, in a perfect world, he won’t get past No. 5 or No. 6. But it’s great for Alabama even to be having these conversations.”
While Alabama probably won’t have a one-and-done player in 2019, Johnson did allude to the possibility of a “two-and-done” on the current Crimson Tide roster. Senior Donta Hall and sophomore Herb Jones are both considered potential NBA prospects on early 2019 mock drafts.
“We have some other guys that are showing up on some mock draft boards,” Johnson said. “Sure, I’d like to keep them. But I’m really excited that we had close to 200 NBA scouts in our building last year. We had an NBA Pro Day that had 50 scouts. Alabama is starting to get in the conversation with some of the other blue-blood schools.
“Are we going to do what Kentucky has done? No, we’re not going to have five one-and-dones in a year. But I wouldn’t mind having one or two.”
Tuscaloosa News sports writer Ben Jones contributed to this report.
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