Sankey's challenge now building on Slive's legacy in SEC

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to the media after being hired in 2015. On Friday, he spoke during a press conference about the NCAA and Missouri's sanctions.

Missouri might not be at the SEC championship football game, but the Tigers were a topic of conversation when SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spoke to the media. 

He said the following during his press conference: 

"I referenced Missouri sanctions. We're obviously disappointed, and I communicated about our disappointment and its appeal to be denied, particularly after over four months of waiting, to have the same sanctions in place was an additional part of the bitter pill. It was a part-time academic tutor involved, 12 student-athletes. I was also disappointed candidly and think the NCAA membership deserves better, but the NCAA's account in response to Missouri last week almost shamed them to say the NCAA membership's responsible for these rules. 

"I think it's clear that we understand the penalty matrix, the expansion of the Committee on Infractions. Those are not the traditional membership votes. Those are products of working groups. Those are products of task forces that go into the board of directors. I have served on some of those working groups, where you are clearly messaged that, hey, we've set an expectation. This needs to move forward. That is not the kind of membership that is contemplated by that tweet, and I want to make sure that people understand. In fact, I think the tweet suggested that Missouri was somehow complicit in setting these policies, and that's not an accurate representation. Again candidly, I think we deserve more as a membership than what that tweet from the NCAA national office provided. The disappointment's real.

"I think the observations about consistency and change in the process that Missouri has made are valid and need to guide us as we move forward. For example, there's one softball student-athlete, as I understand, involved with this part-time tutor. The softball team now faces a postseason ban, and I've been in those Committee on Infractions rooms, and I know there are dedicated people. Those are tough issues, but we also have to make sure in a big picture at the national level we handle these issues with the right kind of sense and the right kind of common sense frankly." 

The tweet Sankey referenced came from @InsidetheNCAA on Nov. 27 and said the following: 

"While Missouri's disappointment is understandable, the rules and infractions processes are developed by NCAA members. If any member school feels the rules and penalty structure are unfair, there is a clear path for them to suggest changes. The infractions process was collectively created and adopted by NCAA members, including Missouri. Committee on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committee decisions are made by dedicated athletics administrators, university officials and members of the public who spend countless hours carefully considering the arguments advanced." 

  • Nick Kelly is a Missouri football reporter for the Columbia Missourian. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., he is studying magazine writing and business. Previously, he covered sports for The Boston Globe, Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic.

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