The SEC is scheduled to hold its annual spring meetings this week. Among the topics up for discussion this year will be the ‘serious misconduct’ transfer ban, which was put in place last year. Some feel that the current restrictions are just not tight enough, and would like to see more put into place.
The existing rule bars student-athletes who were disciplined for “sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence” at any previous school from transferring to an SEC institution. At this time, the conference is considering adding the offenses of “dating violence or stalking and conduct that raises serious concerns about the safety of others.”
The expansion of the rule would also prohibit anyone attempting to transfer that was “convicted, plead guilty or plead no contest to a felony involving serious misconduct.”
In order to uphold the rule, schools would need to complete an “appropriate inquiry” before offering a scholarship to any transferring athlete.
CBS sports thoroughly described the potential rule change:”The proposal also calls for all SEC schools to conduct an “appropriate inquiry” into a transfer’s background prior to offering the athlete a scholarship. SEC schools would be required to ask transfers if they have pending criminal charges, and convictions or guilty/no-contest pleas related to sexual violence, possession of a firearm, dating violence, stalking and any felonies. Transfers would also be asked if they have tried to inflict serious harm against someone, been disciplined for any reason at a previous college, and whether he or she was subject to a pending disciplinary proceeding at the old college that could have resulted in suspension, expulsion or probation.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey made it clear that the new rule would not affect incoming freshmen, and concerns only transfers.
“I think our universities are capable of handling those decisions independent right now of a conference rule,” Sankey said. It was a good topic of conversation, but at the moment the focus is on transfers.”
The original rule, as it currently stands, was first proposed by UGA after defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was taken off of the team in 2014. Taylor was removed due to a domestic violence arrest by former head coach Mark Richt, who was there at the time.
Taylor was able to end up playing for Alabama after a short time at junior college. He was later arrested for domestic violence yet again, and dismissed from the institution. His accuser took back her statements, and the chargers were dropped.
Taylor is currently a member of the Southeastern Louisiana football program.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports