<
>

Day 1 of SEC spring meetings: No room for those with violent pasts?

SANDESTIN, Fla. -- The fallout from Art Briles' firing at Baylor still lingering, Tennessee coach Butch Jones wasn't interested Tuesday in drawing parallels to what the Vols are facing with a pending Title IX lawsuit.

"I'm not into comparisons. All I can speak on is the University of Tennessee," Jones told reporters at the SEC spring meetings. "I feel strongly, as everyone in our organization does, that we've done the right things. I'm proud of the culture that we've built. We've tried to do everything the right way from everyone in our organization, so I feel strongly with what we have at the University of Tennessee, what we've built and what we'll continue to build upon as well."

One of the topics being discussed this week at the SEC spring meetings is potentially tightening the league's policy on not allowing players to transfer into the league with domestic violence issues. That language could now be expanded to keep players with any kind of violent criminal past, particularly any felonies, from transferring into the league. This rule also would not affect incoming freshmen.

Jones says he never has done an official background check on a potential recruit but that Tennessee thoroughly vets each player it brings into the program.

"Every circumstance and every situation is different," Jones said. "We try to do our background checks and be as thorough as possible with social media and Google. ... We try to do our due diligence with every individual we welcome into our football program. It's a challenge in and of itself. Make no mistake about it. The first thing in our recruiting profile is character, and we try to research that to the best of our ability."

Baylor effect: One SEC head coach, who didn't want to be identified, told ESPN.com that the Baylor situation has created the kind of atmosphere that he doesn't want to be included in any way if there's even a hint of one of his players and a female student having a problem.

As an example, he had a recent call from a women's coach at his school inquiring about something that might have happened between a women's player and one of his players. The football coach stopped the women's coach before she could finish and asked her to call police authorities if it was criminal and to report the issue to the proper authorities at the university.

"I don't want to know and don't need to know," the coach said. "I'd say a lot of coaches will take that approach."

Take that, Urban: South Carolina's Will Muschamp is getting a second shot at an SEC head coaching gig after being fired at Florida with a 28-21 record over four seasons, including a 10-13 mark in his final two seasons.

He's the first to admit that he didn't get it done at Florida, particularly on the offensive end, but remains steadfast that he changed the culture of the program after Urban Meyer left what Meyer himself termed a "broken" program.

"We did some good things in that program," Muschamp said. "We cleaned the place up. I do know that."

Gamecocks lose Moore: Muschamp already had a daunting rebuilding job on his hands this first season, but it's going to be even more difficult without returning senior linebacker Skai Moore, who will miss the 2016 season because of a herniated disc.

Muschamp said Tuesday that Moore will undergo surgery Friday and faces a six-month non-contact recovery period. He will redshirt this season and be eligible to play in 2017.

“It’s not a career-threatening injury,” Muschamp said. “It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t heal on its own.”

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Moore has led the Gamecocks in tackles in each of his three seasons and also had a team-leading four interceptions and three forced fumbles last season. His versatility at the linebacker position will be sorely missed, and it’s more important than ever that linebackers Jonathan Walton, Bryson Allen-Williams and Larenz Bryant expand their roles.

SEC-Big Ten Challenge: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema likes the idea of an SEC-Big Ten football challenge early in the season, similar to what the conferences do in basketball. Also, Bielema said he thinks there will be some discussion this week about allowing teams to scrimmage another team during the spring.

They said it:

Alabama's Nick Saban on third parties in satellite camps: "We're all creating these third parties, and who gets exposed on that? I go to a camp and talk to some guy who I don't know from Adam's House Cat, who's representing some kid because he's putting the camp on. And I'm in trouble for talking to this guy? And who even knows if the guy paid to go to the camp?"

Saban on Jim Harbaugh's role in satellite camps: "I'm not blaming Jim Harbaugh. I'm saying it's bad for college football. Jim Harbaugh can do whatever he wants to do if he thinks that's what is best."

Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze on whether the Rebels had gotten too good too fast, prompting the talk of widespread cheating: "We've rocked the narrative of college football a little bit."

Florida's Jim McElwain on suspended receiver Antonio Callaway and his status: "That's being handled."

Bielema on Auburn's Gus Malzahn agreeing with him on the idea of undrafted underclassmen being allowed to return to school: "It's the first thing we've agreed on."