SEC presidents clamp down

The SEC presidents and chancellors went against the wishes of their football coaches on Friday and cut the number of scholarship players a school could sign each year from 28 to 25.

On Wednesday at the league's spring meetings in Destin, Fla., the coaches voted 12-0 in favor of keeping the number at 28 to better be able to manage scholarship numbers and prepare for the unknown such as recruits not qualifying academically.

Clearly, that vote didn't hold much water with the presidents or SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who advocated putting in legislation that would effectively end oversigning in the SEC. Slive said the SEC would propose the 25-signee rule to the NCAA and anticipates the rest of the country following suit.

The presidents and chancellors also voted to no longer allow one-year graduate students to transfer to the SEC and play just one season. That rule goes into effect Oct. 1 of this year. Had that rule been in place last year, Jeremiah Masoli wouldn't have been allowed to play his senior season at Ole Miss after graduating from Oregon and enrolling in a graduate program at Ole Miss.

The SEC will also have oversight on those players placed on medical scholarship and has banned coaches from being involved in 7-on-7 events for high school prospects and will no longer allow 7-on-7 events to be held on SEC campuses.

In short, the SEC coaches didn't win many of the battles this week in Destin.

Mississippi State, however, did succeed in its quest to keep the cowbell tradition alive. The SEC voted to allow Mississippi State fans to continue bringing cowbells into Scott Field for another season as long as they don't ring them while the game is going on. Mississippi State will have to pay a $30,000 fine for violations of that policy a year ago.