BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference has appointed seven individuals from campuses across the SEC to form a working group to review issues surrounding student-athlete conduct, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Thursday.
Sankey announced in July at the SEC's annual Football Media Days that he would convene the SEC Working Group on Student-Athlete Conduct, a collection of campus leaders to discuss and review student-athlete behavior.
"The SEC has already established a leadership role with our transfer review policy approved by the SEC membership last May, which for the first time establishes conduct expectations of individuals seeking to transfer to and compete in the SEC," said Sankey. "This working group has been established to engage in a continued conversation on student-athlete conduct for the ultimate purpose of making recommendations for Conference policies or institutional best practices to shape student-athlete behavioral expectations in the SEC."
Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, Chancellor for the University of Missouri, will serve as chair of the working group.
Remaining members of the working group are Dr. Jimmy Cheek, Chancellor, University of Tennessee; David Shipley, Professor in Law and Faculty Athletics Representative, University of Georgia; David Williams, Director of Athletics, Vanderbilt University; Scott Stricklin, Director of Athletics, Mississippi State University; Julie Cromer Peoples, Associate Vice Chancellor, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator, University of Arkansas; and Dr. Matt Gregory, Associate Dean of Students, Louisiana State University.
"Student-athlete conduct is a topic of serious concern for leaders in higher education today because the actions of a few individuals can have a devastating effect on the reputation of an entire program and institution," said Loftin. "The SEC is taking a proactive position in addressing this issue by analyzing contributing factors as well as considering practical measures and best practices to positively impact student-athlete conduct now and into the future."
The working group will review and discuss existing NCAA and Conference policies governing student-athlete conduct and related eligibility outcomes; standards for institutional fulfillment of expectations associated with SEC transfer requirements for personal conduct; as well as University and athletic department best practices and policies governing conduct of students and student-athletes.
In addition, the group will look at issues and policies arising in other conferences which may inform decision-making within the SEC; State and Federal legislation related to student discipline and reporting; drug testing policies and procedures; and other related issues as determined by the working group.
Updates from the working group will be provided to key SEC leadership groups at regular intervals, with an anticipated report and recommendations submitted for initial consideration by the SEC membership in the spring of 2016.