Internet reacts to passing of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive

Annette Crawford
May 17, 2018

According to multiple reports, Mike Slive, the longtime SEC Commissioner passed away in Birmingham, Alabama at the age of 77.

Slive replaced Roy Kramer as SEC commissioner in 2002, coming from Conference USA to help clean up an SEC that was beset by NCAA compliance issues.

During his career, Slive served on the Bowl Championship Subdivision selection committee as well as the Men's Basketball Division-1 Selection Committee.

"He was a friend before he was the boss, he was a friend while he was the boss, he was a friend after", SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who replaced Slive, told the SEC Network.

The SEC distributed $95.7 million in revenue to its 12 member schools in 2001, the year prior to Slive's hiring.

To Slive, the SEC was much more than a football league.

With degrees from Virginia and Georgetown, Slive was a lawyer by training, whose words carried enormous weight in college athletics. He also played a major part in ushering in a new governance model for the NCAA in which the SEC and the other four most powerful and wealthy conferences were given autonomy to create and pass legislation.


Sankey also joined The Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday afternoon to share additional thoughts on Slive's passing.

"Mike Slive is one of the best people I have ever met", said Charles Bloom, a former associate commissioner at the SEC who is now an administrator at SC.

"He was a friend before we worked together", he said. We will miss him for his work and especially for his compassion.

After surviving cancer, Slive founded the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research.

Slive's legacy, though, ultimately will be his impact on the SEC. Before taking over the SEC, he was the Commissioner of Conference-USA from 1995-2002. When he first became commissioner of the SEC, the league had nine schools either on NCAA probation or under NCAA investigation. "Mike changed the landscape of the Southeastern Conference and helped build our league into what you see today". Slive was also a driving force behind what eventually became the College Football Playoff. Beginning with Sylvester Croom at Mississppi State, five African-Americans have been head coaches in the SEC.

"Obviously, Dr. Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhart made the decision to hire me, but my friend, guardian, and mentor Mike Slive was instrumental in me becoming the coach at Kentucky Calipari said on his website". "He was a brilliant leader who cared deeply about the people he led and the universities they represented". Mike has always been a supporter of everyone involved in college athletics and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve alongside him for a number of years.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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