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May 27, 2014

Muschamp prefers not playing FCS opponents

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Southeastern Conference presidents, athletic directors and coaches are meeting in Destin throughout the week as part of the conference's 2014 spring meetings. Conversations got underway today and will continue through Friday. Here are some of the highlights from day one at Sandestin.

- Billy Donovan's name hit the press again late last week when his name was tied to yet another National Basketball Association job, this time the Cleveland Cavaliers. The report came just hours after he told UF media he has fielded "a few calls from a couple" NBA teams but has not come across anything serious.

When asked about the latest round of reports, Donovan would not give any indication one way or the other:

"I've seen a lot of coaches over the years come out and say, 'No, no, no, no, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not going anywhere,' and then all of a sudden they go somewhere and it's like, 'Well, this guy is a complete liar.' I don't want to get into that situation. There's been some teams that have called, but that's really it." "All I can say is I love Florida, I'm happy here, Jeremy's been great, the school's been great to me. But at the same point, some of the NBA stuff, as I've said before, is intriguing in a lot of ways - the basketball part of it. That's not to say that I'm unhappy here; that's not the case at all." (Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel)

- Even though the conference football schedule has been ironed out, scheduling was still a major topic of discussion Tuesday. Most notably, the degree of difficulty teams put into their non-conference schedules.

"We're probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents," Will Muschamp said, citing the interest in giving fans and the College Football Playoff committee more quality opponents. Jeremy Foley was not as bold in his statement, saying, "In a perfect world, you play all D-1 schools. But also you have to have 12 opponents." (Mark Long, Associated Press)

Alabama coach Nick Saban, always one to push the issue on scheduling, had his own take. Saban believes not only should SEC teams not schedule FCS opponents, but they should schedule all non-conference games against teams from the "Big Five" conferences. (Tony Barnhart, CBS)

- Muschamp and other SEC coaches support the idea of an early signing period in recruiting but also understand it will be incredibly difficult to find common ground on how to best open the door for a second signing period.

One of the concerns, Muschamp said, is the difference in recruiting schedules between northern schools and southern schools. Muschamp said northern schools do not utilize the winter for recruiting, because "it's freezing cold, and they lie to (recruits) and tell them it's warm." (Brett McMurphy, ESPN).

- The SEC released information on its basketball schedules. The slate will remain 18 games but will now feature three permanent opponents instead of one. Also, the 2018 SEC Tournament will take place in St. Louis. The 2022 edition will be in Tampa. (McMurphy, ESPN).

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