SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has been a busy man of late. In the past week alone he announced a “joint advisory committee” partnership with the Big Ten and the state of Tennessee filed a pivotal lawsuit against the NCAA that could change the way name, image and likeness is governed going forward in college football. In a Wednesday appearance on ESPN, Sankey had a chance to address those topics.
Speaking on the SEC’s partnership with the Big Ten, Sankey says it grew out of frustration in the lack of progress at College Football Playoff committee meetings.
“We have all been in rooms with people, big rooms filled with a lot of people,” Sankey said. “We don’t seem to be making a lot of progress on the key issues present in college athletics. Here’s an opportunity to slim down the participants, focus on two conferences with the idea that we can introduce some concepts that others can consider and react to. … We have a set of pressing issues upon us that merit this kind of conversation.”
The Big Ten will expand to 18 schools in the 2024-25 academic year, while the SEC will add Oklahoma and Texas to reach 16 members. Sankey believes both conferences’ decision to expand has aligned some of their interests when it comes to access to the College Football Playoff, among other things.
“We made an announcement back in the Summer of 2021 about the SEC’s growth of 14 to 16 members, that announcement changed my relationship within meeting rooms,” he said. “It resulted in some of the delays in decision making that I spoke of earlier. Fast forward a year later and the Big Ten made an expansion decision.”
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