Equity more important than precedent

Senator Blutarsky asks if adjusting the SEC schedule to correct a problem sets a bad precedent. This type of thinking misses the point.

Ever gone to a board meeting or a city council session? Listened to the debate when a resident asks for something? Inevitably, you hear someone say, “If we do it for you then we have to do it for everyone.” Inaction is always favored over action. It is just easier. There are fewer people to fuss. Change the pew cushions? What? Are you crazy? They’ve been green since 1844!!!!

You cannot allow the hypothetical—slippery slope arguments or bad precedents—to interfere with doing the right thing. The SEC through its athletic directors reached a consensus that the Alabama 2010 schedule was inequitable. If it is inequitable, then it should be fixed. Isn’t the purpose of the SEC to create an environment that is fair for its member institutions?

Failure to fix what was determined by consensus to be inequitable would be wrong. It would be a dereliction of duty. Thankfully, the SEC has a commissioner who takes his job seriously; Mike Slive is a professional, and the league can be proud of him.

However, anyone expecting dramatic relief in 2010 is mistaken. It is late in the game, and substantial relief would seem unlikely. Having the SEC office and member institutions agree the 2010 Alabama schedule is wrong is one thing, but creating a real solution to the problem is another. Any real changes are likely to be outlined in 2011 and beyond.

Which is another way of saying, the worry over setting a precedent is wrong and probably isn’t necessary.