These two paragraphs in a Deadspin story on SEC football were quite interesting, given tonight’s national championship game, the Big Ten’s Twitter efforts to demonstrate its relevance, and our conversation on academic standards:
There’s bashing, and then there’s bashing. In 2009, the Chronicle of Higher Education tried to figure out why the SEC had gotten so good. It concluded that SEC schools spent more than other Division I schools on athletics and continually increased their budgets. But they increased funding while supporting a smaller number of sports than other conferences do. The Big Ten fields 25 sports, the Big East 24, and the ACC 25. The SEC fields only 20. There is no men’s soccer in the SEC.
At the same time, the SEC has persistently lower academic standards for its athletes than other conferences do, the Chronicle reported. Mike Slive cleaned up the conference when he took over in 2002 by telling them not to rat each other out for violations. That’s why then-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin, who publicly accused then-Florida coach Urban Meyer of cheating in 2009, was such an oddball in the SEC. This is the good ole boys’ conference, and he had broken the code of silence.
Interesting. This is something the Big Ten should have shared in its Twitter campaign.