29th November 2023

Commissioner Greg Sankey opened SEC Media Days in Nashville with a state-of-the-conference tackle that focused Texas.

The Longhorns are coming to the SEC together with Oklahoma in 2024. Sankey introduced that SEC Media Days will probably be in Dallas subsequent season. Sankey gave the impression to be rolling out the welcome mat – till he turned his speech towards Identify, Picture and Likeness reform. 

“Our student-athletes deserve one thing higher than a patchwork of state legal guidelines that help their NIL exercise, if help is the precise phrase,” Sankey stated. “Our student-athletes deserve higher than a race to the underside on the state legislature stage.”

In truth, that will probably be Sankey’s subsequent problem within the SEC. How does the convention keep a relationship with its two Texas colleges as NIL continues into the 12-team Faculty Soccer Playoff period? 

That begins in Texas when HB 2804 goes into impact, which can enable schools and personal establishments to work together with collectives. In response to the Dallas Morning Information, the HB 2804  says “no athletic convention or group can prohibit Texas schools from collaborating in sports activities or penalize them for participating in actions the brand new regulation authorizes.” Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma have related legal guidelines. 

That’s the reason Sankey known as for congressional assist and a federal regulation that may enable for extra regulation of NIL. In different phrases, it might enable for conference-wide insurance policies that may create uniformity for the strongest convention in school soccer. 

“In some ways, NIL has been a web optimistic for younger folks competing in collegiate athletics, nevertheless it has additionally created a collection of realities that put the long-term viability of collegiate athletics in danger,” Sankey stated. “Everyone knows there are tales—some informed and lots of untold—of false guarantees, empty commitments, NIL agreements unfulfilled, inducements supplied however not supplied, and different behaviors that rightly trigger concern.”

The tallest tales nonetheless come from the Texas colleges within the outdated Southwest Conferences – with legends of Gold Trans Ams and luggage full of cash. As former Texas A&M coach Jackie Sherrill stated in a 2020 ESPN look-back, “The oil cash in Texas made a giant distinction.” It additionally contributed to SMU getting the first-ever Dying Penalty from the NCAA and the convention’s demise. 

Arkansas was the one college from the convention to maneuver to the SEC, and that left eight colleges that needed to relocate conferences in 1996. That included Texas and Texas A&M – which moved to the Massive 12. 

Authentic Texas Southwest Convention colleges 

Baylor Massive 12 Massive 12
Houston C USA Massive 12
Texas Massive 12 SEC
Texas A&M Massive 12 SEC
Texas Tech Massive 12 Massive 12
SMU WAC  American
TCU WAC Massive 12

It took colleges resembling TCU and Houston many years to get again to the ability convention stage due to the fallout, maybe a cause why Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes took a shot at realignment at Massive 12 Media Days final week. 

There isn’t a doubt Sankey is aware of all this historical past – and ought to be decided to not let it repeat itself in a convention that has dominated school soccer by way of the Bowl Championship Sequence and Faculty Soccer Playoff eras heading into the 12-team playoff chapter in 2024. 

Texas and Texas A&M nonetheless have cash. The Aggies have created consideration since becoming a member of the convention with out profitable it. Keep in mind the feud between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban after Saban stated “A&M purchased each participant on their group.” 

Texas has the Longhorn Community, which can fold into the SEC Community in 2024. That does not imply Texas – which introduced in $25 million extra in income than Alabama in final season – won’t command an inordinate quantity of consideration no matter what occurs on the sphere. How do the Longhorns reply to being in a room with all these SEC heavyweights – together with 4 in Alabama, Florida, LSU and Georgia who’ve received a number of nationwide championships since Texas received its final one in 2005? How will that always-uneasy relationship between Texas and Texas A&M play out? 

These are long-term questions for Sankey, who has a pair potential complications. The SEC doesn’t want Texas and Texas A&M to be nationwide championship contenders at soccer to take care of its perch as the highest convention in school soccer. But Sankey must proceed to watch how the Longhorns and Aggies leverage NIL and collectives in an effort to turn into nationwide championship contenders. 

We’re speaking about Texas – a state with numerous extravagant high-school stadiums that would move for faculty venues. It is a football-crazy state that performs by its personal guidelines at instances. On this case, we’re speaking about HB 2804. Will these colleges work with Sankey? Or will this be the beginning of a contentious relationship earlier than the Longhorns play their first sport within the convention? 

It’s a relationship price watching. It can assist outline the subsequent chapter of Sankey’s tenure — and maybe – your entire school soccer panorama. 

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