HOOVER, ALA. – SEC commissioner Mike Slive kicked off the league’s football media kickoff Tuesday with his annual state of the union speech. While Slive’s 20-minute introduction highlighted much of the SEC’s success, it also feature tough talk specifically directed at the NCAA.

It’s been no secret that Slive has concerns over the direction of the NCAA especially when it comes to the lack of success on the full cost of attendance.

“College athletics has grown to become an integral part of not only education, but of the American life in the American culture,” Slive said. “Our challenges are complex, they always have been and they always will be.

“That being said, we have supported and will continue to support the NCAA as the appropriate governing organization for intercollegiate athletics,” he added. “But the NCAA has not been successful in meeting the full cost of attendance of our student athletes, whether through the so-called miscellaneous expense allowance or some other model that provides broad access to additional funds.”

Full cost of attendance stipend has been a point of contention among many of the Big 5 conferences including the SEC. Many like Slive want to see the NCAA move forward with the $2,000 award for the student-athletes, but the NCAA has put the move on hold while it tries to study the effects on smaller schools.

“Conferences and their member institutions must be allowed to meet the needs of their student athletes,” Slive added. “In recent conversations with my commissioner colleagues, there appears to be a willingness to support a meaningful solution to this important change.”

"As we push for change, we are encouraged by the NCAA's ongoing review of its governing structure," Slive said.

The 72-year-old did go on to say that there are still major questions that need to be answered by NCAA president Mark Emmert as the group moves forward including the role of the NCAA board of directors, are the services provided by NCAA better used and how can you streamline the legislative process.

 

While the NCAA was a major point in his speech, Slive did speak about several other issues relevant to the league including whether the league will go to a nine-game conference schedule in the future. Slive said SEC officials are still reviewing a possible format change that could go into effect in 2016, but in the meantime the league will stay with the current 6-1-1 format.

 

“As I said this spring, the simple goal of this review, although it is not simple to do, is to select the format that is in the long-term best interest of the conference as a whole,” said Slive.

 

Another concern addressed by Slive was head injuries, who said that it was important for the NCAA to ‘lead, organize and spearhead’ the effort. 

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