BY GENE SAPAKOFF

gsapakoff@postandcourier.com

HOOVER, Ala. – SEC Commissioner Mike Slive continues to push the NCAA hard for real change in college athletics, and wants tougher high school academic standards.

He lamented the “recent off-field incidents involving both current and former student-athletes.”

Some of what Slive said today during his annual SEC Media Days address isn’t new; he has been pushing for scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance for two years.

And improved high school grade point averages for NCAA freshman eligibility won’t take hold until 2016.

But Slive was in rare form referencing sources not typically tied to the SEC Championship Game race.

On the need for new NCAA recruiting rules that acknowledge social media advances.

“The current regulatory approach would be more at home in the era of Johann Gutenberg’s printing press than in our current fast-paced technology-driven society and will no longer serve to functionally govern recruiting behaviors moving forward. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Slive, who has degrees from Dartmouth, Virginia and Georgetown, quoted a famous author.

“In the words of James Baldwin, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Slive also credited president Teddy Roosevelt for providing “the incentive for the creation of the NCAA” in 1906.

“His leadership and his commitment to his philosophy of the strenuous life, as he called it, demonstrated the belief still present today that the uniquely American combination of athletic competition and higher education does, indeed, have a place on our university campuses.”

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