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SEC coaches question fairness of league schedule

By Mark Long

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24 2012 11:35 a.m. MST

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When the Southeastern Conference signed a 15-year contract with ESPN, basketball coaches applauded the deal because it provided more coverage, more exposure and more money.

Nearly four years later, several of the league's most tenured coaches have found a problem.

Florida's Billy Donovan, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings and others are questioning the league's unbalanced schedule involving Thursday-Saturday games.

The league added the short turnarounds under the new contract, giving it another night to showcase its teams. Coaches figured those games would be divvied equally between everyone. Instead, it appears top-ranked Kentucky is getting a favorable draw.

The Wildcats don't have a Thursday-Saturday setup this season, but they play four Saturday games against teams coming off Thursday night tips.

Donovan says the league needs to have a "level of balance."

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