The SEC was not directly involved in the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program in Columbia last week. It was at this event that USC quarterback Stephen Garcia was asked to leave leading to his fifth suspension.
SEC Associate Commissioner Charles Bloom informed SportsTalk there was not a representative from the league office at the event.
“From what I have been able to find out, there was no SEC representative in the MVP session,” Bloom wrote in an email to SportsTalk. “Thus, we do not know what was said in the meeting and are not able to comment or give reaction to it.”
It has been widely thought, including on this site, that the MVP program was run and moderated by the SEC. It is actually The Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University is in charge of the event.
According to a 2005 press release Northeastern’s Sport in Society partnered with the SEC for a “first-of-its-kind partnership to provide violence prevention education to all 12 SEC schools.” The release said the MVP program’s expertise is “educating athletes and young adults about the way that media, social expectation, gender roles, and peer pressures can lead to violence against women.”
A call to the MVP contact was not immediately returned.
Stephen Garcia was suspended indefinitely last week for conduct USC Athletic Director Eric Hyman deemed “unacceptable behavior for a university student-athlete”. Garcia admitted he had been drinking prior to the program and has since reportedly sought help dealing alcohol issues.