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SEC Denies Expansion Meeting With CBS

Earlier today, we here at reported that a Knoxville radio station had reported that SEC commissioner Mike Slive had at some point in recent months met with executives from CBS regarding what the SEC might do should it be forced to expand the league.

Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM 990, citing a source close to CBS, reported that Slive had made CBS officials aware that Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State and Clemson would be the SEC’s prime targets if the Big Ten grew to 16 teams.  Georgia Tech and Miami would join the list if Texas and Texas A&M could not be lured into a league-jump.

Before airing his report, Hyams attempted to contact Slive, but he did not receive a follow-up call.

As we mentioned when we covered the report this morning, a denial from the league office was likely. 

It’s now in hand.

Associate commissioner of the SEC Charles Bloom emailed me moments ago to say that there “was never any meeting nor have their been any discussions between CBS and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive about expansion. “

He also forwarded to me a comment that Slive and the SEC office have previously given to the media regarding expansion:

“Given the success that the SEC has experienced during the past decade, we are very comfortable with the position in which we find ourselves.  Having said that, if there is a significant shift in the conference paradigm, the SEC will be proactive to maintain its position as one of the nation’s premier conferences.”

So where does that leave things?  About where they stood after last week’s radio report from a Kansas City station broke word that the Big Ten was already sending out expansion invitations.

Denials were made, but until one of the conferences makes their plans known, we won’t know for sure if the Kansas City station was right, wrong, or partially right or wrong.

The same goes for the report from Knoxville. 

However, unlike the Kansas City hosts, I do know the Knoxville host.  He has 30 years of SEC contacts and a reputation for caring more about accuracy than ratings.

Does that mean there definitely was a meeting between the SEC and CBS?  No.  But I have a hard time believing Hyams would buy into a source who would completely fabricate such a story.

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