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    The Winter Football Coaches Meeting

    Once a week, SEC Digital Media Director Eric SanInocencio will share insights on the inner-workings of the conference office.


    Birmingham, Ala. -- You have to admit, that isn't a group you normally see hanging out together every day.

    But, on this one day, every football coach gathers with the SEC staff for the SEC "Winter Coaches Meeting". During a three-hour span, coaches and conference officials go through an agenda of items, and this group discusses topics and issues that affect their programs on a daily basis.

    What exactly are the specifics of the "Winter Coaches Meeting"? Consider this edition of SEC "Insider" your how-to guide for this important day, as we break down the key essentials for what takes place.

    Question: Why Do The Coaches Have Meetings?

    Answer: This is an SEC policy. During some point in the calendar year, every coaches group from every sport meets with the conference office. According to Article 4.4.3 of the SEC Constitution:

    "Each head coach in the Southeastern Conference is required to attend as appropriate for their sport."

    Listed under the approved meetings is the "Annual Coaches Meeting". So, these 12 coaches gather in a conference room and go over any agenda items on the docket. Since Commissioner Slive came to the SEC, there are two meetings a year that the league's football coaches attend. The second meeting occurs at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. The timing of the Winter Meeting is so because it fits into the SEC legislative process for possible SEC and NCAA legislation.

    Question: What's On The Agenda?

    Answer: The agenda if formulated by the football coaches and the SEC staff, so it is never the same every year. The group discusses SEC and NCAA legislation, new proposals for the upcoming Spring Meetings and review the past football season. Other items on this year's list include Bowls, officiating and player health and safety.

    Question: With All The Coaches In The Room, Who Takes The Lead? Is There A Chair Of The Football Coaches Group?

    Answer: There is a chair, and that honor falls this year to Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino. As chair of the meeting, Petrino resides over parliamentary procedures during the meeting and acts as the leader of the group. The chair position rotates every year alphabetically. However, an individual must have attended two annual coaches meetings and coached one full season before serving as chair.

    Question: What Happens When The Coaches Want A Rule Or Policy Changed?

    Answer: If a majority of coaches (seven yes votes) support a change in policy, their recommendation is moved to the Athletic Directors agenda. The Athletic Directors then discuss the issues and take a vote of their own.

    Question: How Long Is The Meeting?

    Answer: Depending on the discussion involved and the amount of agenda items, this meeting can range between two and four hours. Today's meeting lasted roughly three and a half hours.

    Question: Do They All Arrive Together?

    Answer: Each coach travels individually to the meeting, and some drive to the event based on how close they are. For all of its meetings, the SEC assists getting coaches and administrators to and from the airport where the meetings are located.

    Question: Who From The SEC Staff Is In The Meeting With The Football Coaches?

    Answer: Along with Commissioner Mike Slive, several different departments from the SEC office are represented. Members from the television, media relations and compliance staffs all are present and have portions of the meeting in which they specifically address the coaches group.