Today is the first day of the annual SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., and our own Parrish Alford is on the ground there collecting all sorts of useful information. He caught up with MSU football coach Dan Mullen earlier and had a really good conversation with him on several hot-button topics.
The biggest issue in Destin this week, of course, is oversigning. MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin told Parrish yesterday that he's fine with the proposal that limits schools to signing 25 players. Mullen likes it the current cap of 28, but he's not as adamant about it as other coaches.
"I like 28, but I understand everyone's concern," Mullen said. "We try to comply with it and do things the right way up front. I don't know if it will hurt us."
He added, "We'll make it work. Because of the way we've done things, I don't see the rule impacting our program much one way or the other."
State signed 22 players to the 2011 class.
• An issue of particular concern to MSU is the noisemaker rule, which was instituted last year on a trial basis and is expected to be revisited this week. Stricklin should soon learn how much MSU will be fined for violating it last season – the guess here is $30,000 – and whether the rule will remain in place.
"The hard thing is it's an SEC-only rule," said Mullen. "In the NCAA it's completely legal. If we just went under the rules of the NCAA, the body we're governed under, it wouldn't be an issue at all. It would be completely legal. That's the disappointing thing."
• The big news in college football this week has been Jim Tressell's resignation from Ohio State after 10 seasons at the helm. Several SEC coaches were asked for their thoughts on that today, and Mullen said it serves as a reminder of the scrutiny coaches are under.
"We're under the microscope at all times. That comes with the league. You try to educate your players and try to educate your coaches, and you try to run a program as clean as you can possibly run it. That's what I stand for. I tell our staff, I hope if we're dismissed it's because we're not very good football coaches and we're not winning football games, not because we're not following the rules."
Mullen then used an interesting example to illustrate just how careful coaches and players should be in how they represent their school and program.
"I assume that everything I do is being video-taped because of today's era. I tell our players that. Just assume that everything you're doing is being video-taped and would you want your grandmother to watch the video tape of your actions. If you're OK with your mom and your grandma watching that tape, then you're probably making a good decision."
Big Brother is watching.