playing, alcohol, prohibitions: the brand new agenda for Dr. Harris Pastides and the SEC

Dr. Harris Pastides

school of South Carolina president Dr. Harris Pastides under no circumstances attempts to exaggerate his athleticism. the whole thing of his collegiate profession is the ceremonial touchdown circulate he caught from former USC coach Steve Spurrier in a recent spring game.

“i wanted to move this way, zig-zag after which curl,” Pastides recalled, “and he said, ‘just go throughout the road, turn around and don’t circulation.’ He’s the ‘Head Ball educate,’ so I did what he mentioned. And he hit me just like he mentioned he would.

“i will guarantee that the defenders knew they had been speculated to let me trap the ball. i do know my location. I’m closer to being a fan than to being a teach and certainly closer than being an athlete.”

Pastides can accept that he is a stronger educator than he is a wide receiver, however he nevertheless holds the same passion for sports that he developed growing to be up on the sandlots in Queens, ny. That ardour spreads across campuses. It pours into stadiums and arenas. It enhances lives and transforms communities. It fuels a multi-billion-greenback business.

Pastides is one of the chief directors governing the practical facet of that passion. On Friday afternoon, Pastides was named the President of the Southeastern convention. Pastides authorised the appointment throughout the SEC conferences in Destin, Florida.

“i’ll sit on the head of the president’s table, if you will. With 13 other presidents, we are able to deal with exceptionally the enterprise aspect of the convention, approving budgets and contractual matters,” Pastides said from Destin. “As all the time, it’s an exciting, yet challenging time for college athletics. We’re tackling loads of crucial concerns.”

South Carolina Gamecocks president Harris Pastides.

during meetings this week, the league’s priorities covered switch guidelines, alcohol income and legalized gambling. On may 14, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that the skilled and novice activities protection Act that restrained activities making a bet to one state changed into unconstitutional. The ruling empowered states to alter and sanction playing.

South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri are the handiest states with SEC schools which have energetic activities playing bills, albeit at diverse levels of the legislative process. The bill residence Minority chief Todd Rutherford filed within the most fresh South Carolina legislative session can’t be acted upon until subsequent 12 months.

on the other hand, Pastides asserted that the SEC will now not wait on state’s choices to handle the difficulty. They are searching for to be sure that coaches, athletes and gamblers all play with the aid of the guidelines.

“the place tremendous amounts of money will also be made, you’re going to have all types of individuals who need to compel themselves or their pals to retract. this is a extremely scary component to consider about,” Pastides spoke of. “we are hoping there is legislation from the federal executive or might be from state executive, so if a person is considering of fixing a online game by getting nearer to avid gamers or coaches they’re mindful that they likely will be sent to penal complex…The dark facet of gambling must be stored as far away from college athletics as feasible.”

USC president Harris Pastides

Pastides applied that equal caution to alcohol earnings in college venues. Some school classes these days started selling beer at concession stands. Pastides referred to, at this aspect, he opposes the apply.

“I certainly don’t think the undeniable fact that we can make extra cash from it is a great ample rationale,” observed Pastides, who referred to the opposing sentiment that moderately providing alcohol inside the stadium might curtail consumption in tailgates.

“i’m attracted to hearing from law enforcement on whether they accept as true with alcohol earnings would make the environment safer,” Pastides pointed out, “but I’m not satisfied of that yet.”

Pastides pointed out, on every concern and each decision, the well-being of athletes and students should be his basic problem. He sided with players this week on transfer reform, in opposition t the league’s most embellished coach.

SEC rules up to now pressured players who transferred inside the convention to sit down out a season until they acquired a waiver from the commissioner, even though the participant had already earned a degree. After the 2017 season, Brandon Kennedy graduated from Alabama as a redshirt sophomore. in accordance with stories, he wants to switch to Auburn or Tennessee for his ultimate two years of eligibility.

besides the fact that children, Alabama educate Nick Saban positioned conditions on Kennedy’s free up, inhibiting him from even contacting any SEC school or seven of Alabama’s future non-convention opponents, together with The fort.

Saban’s constrictions contradicted the liberty with which coaches can alternate colleges. They may also incur a contract buyout, however they face no preclusion from participation. Sitting out a yr is average for all NCAA undergraduate transfers, except the player moves down a classification— as an example, from Carolina or Clemson within the Division I bowl subdivision to Furman or Wofford in the D-I championship subdivision.

That penalty is intended to deter coaches from poaching gamers. That issue continues to be, so switch free agency will not be legislated any time quickly. Yet, on Friday, the league officially lifted restrictions on graduate transfers.

“I’m at all times going to aspect with offering the most flexibility for our pupil-athletes. in case you’re going to call them pupil-athletes, you should offer them an identical sorts of benefits and flexibilities as other college students have,” Pastides stated. “You’ve graduated out of your college, and you need to go to a grad application elsewhere and you’ve got some eligibility ultimate? That shouldn’t be a problem at all.

“at the undergraduate stage, I believe we deserve to also feel about offering extra daftar poker flexibility. To me, that capacity making bound that the transfer is being requested for the right causes. It may be to be closer to domestic. It could be to get the most important they want. It may be 1,000,000 valid reasons, however nonetheless attempting to shield the expertise of what i may name tampering by way of a college or a educate…we will are trying to stroll down that course cautiously.”

Pastides will grasp this place for two years. He in the past served as the SEC vice chairman. He also chaired the NCAA Division I Board of administrators. beneath old commissioner Mike Slive and existing commissioner Greg Sankey, Pastides helped raise the SEC as the most powerful and affluent league in faculty athletics.

via television rights agreements, bowl video game appearances and league championship events, the SEC generated $596.9 million in profits all the way through the 2016-17 fiscal 12 months. The league disbursed $forty.9 million to each of its 14 contributors schools. based on figures compiled by country nowadays sports, in 2016, nine of the 15 most lucrative college programs have been from the SEC. South Carolina changed into ranked 17th at $122.three million in revenue.

In competition, considering the fact that 2010, the league has earned 15 country wide championships in football, guys’s and girls’s basketball, softball and baseball. In board rooms, the league has spearheaded country wide legislative reform.

“we’ve a way of life, and i feel it’s a really wonderful one. It’s to play on the most competitive degree at every recreation, at all times to play on the most ethical stage in each sport and additionally to domesticate the building of the scholar in addition to of the athlete,” Pastides noted. “but we’re also delicate that the area is looking at us as neatly. We do not intellect stepping out.

“I don’t feel we step out because we wish to be first. however we really are thinking about what’s foremost for us. a good deal of the time it really is also what’s ultimate for student athletes throughout the nation. We’re pleased with being leaders, however we’re not smug, we’re no longer boastful about it. we’ll seem at the best ideas popping out of different conferences as well.”

Pastides’ usual-sense approach and approachable sensibilities equip him to navigate via a promising, yet difficult time in faculty athletics. however he intends to grip every problem tightly— like a wide-inaugurate touchdown pass from Steve Spurrier.