A few notes and observations from Day 1 of the SEC spring meetings …
We began talking about covering this event last year but did not. Brad Locke picked up the ball this season, but as baseball played out, I was available, he was not.
If I’m available to cover this event too many times, that’s not good for Ole Miss baseball, but that’s another story.
Because I’m a first-timer here, I’ve had to feel my way around. Some coaches had organized pressers, some did not.
MSU football coach Dan Mullen did not, and I spent about 10 minutes one-on-one with him.
Dan at first gave me that eye that says, “You’re not our guy,” but we were able to move past that and on to the issues of the day.
For better or worse, beat writers are attached to their schools. My mother to this day will ask me, “Where do y’all play this weekend?” or “Did y’all win yesterday.” Once upon a time I politely explained my job and said, “Mother, I don’t work for Ole Miss.” That time was long ago. I fought the good fight but gave up on that one.
Anyway, Houston Nutt did have a presser, and some writers jumped in right away on the oversigning. Nutt was funny with it, laughing at himself a little bit as the “poster boy” for oversigning. He again explained his reasons for signing 37 recruits two years ago, a move that sparked the 28-signee limit for SEC schools that emerged from these meetings a year ago and came to be known as the “Houston Nutt Rule.”
Lots of talk on oversigning today. I didn’t get to sit in on all the pressers, didn’t talk to all the coaches, but I sense more support of limited oversigning than I did support for a 25-player limit on signing day.
Tomorrow will be interesting to see what emerges from the football coach-AD meeting.
It is my plan to focus on basketball for the print coverage tomorrow. I hit on it today in the notebook that will appear in tomorrow’s Daily Journal, but I hope to have reaction from Rick Stansbury and Andy Kennedy tomorrow.
I spoke to both briefly today but interviewed neither.
True to form with Stansbury, he acted offended when I didn’t interview him, and when I started to get out the recorder and pen, he said, “No, you go on an register. I have to go to a meeting. We’ll talk after that.” Of course I didn’t see him again.
Rick’s a very friendly guy and will talk with you on lots of different subjects, but if the basketball discussion is a bit outside the norm, he’d just as soon talk about fishing.
While there’s a feeling that this week could end with some oversigning allowed, there’s also the feeling that change is coming for basketball. I hope that change preserves the divisional format, but it may not. We’ll see.
I am keeping an eye on the cow bell issue too. There was no real discussion of that today, but it will come up.
Mullen says the SEC is pleased with MSU’s enforcement of the new rule and the fans’ willingness to abide by it and “ring responsibly.” If that’s the case, it’s quite possible the cow bell issue could be rubber stamped and moved ahead without much debate. There are other issues in the spotlight, and the league may not be inclined to make it a big news story again if MSU is in compliance.
It’s all discussion right now. Nothing will be final before the presidents vote on Friday.