Visionary former SEC commissioner Mike Slive dies at 77

Former Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, who led the league to a dominant stretch of success beforehand unseen in faculty athletics, died Wednesday on the age of 77.

Before retiring from his SEC submit in 2015, Slive introduced that he was starting therapy following the recurrence of prostate most cancers. He had initially been identified within the 1990s. 

“Mike was an extrarordinary man, a tremendous partner and an even better friend,” mentioned CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. “He was an innovator and a great leader. Mike’s impact on the SEC and college athletics are immeasurable and will be felt for decades to come. Above all, Mike’s greatest passion was always Liz, Anna, Judd and Abigail. Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Slive family.”

Slive served as SEC commissioner from 2002-15, overseeing the league’s unprecedented run of accomplishment throughout his tenure. Over his 14 seasons on the helm, the SEC received 10 nationwide titles in soccer and three extra in males’s faculty basketball. In complete, the convention captured 81 nationwide titles in 19 completely different sports activities throughout his time as chief.

Off the sphere, Slive oversaw the creation of the SEC Network and the enlargement of the convention from 12 groups to 14. It was throughout this time that the SEC noticed its revenues from tv offers make it the wealthiest convention within the nation.

Slive additionally helped restore the fame of the convention. When he first grew to become commissioner of the SEC, the league had 9 faculties both on NCAA probation or below NCAA investigation. Slive promised that each member of the varsity can be off probation inside 5 years of his appointment, and he labored with college officers to implement reforms and maintain themselves to increased requirements.

“Mike Slive literally changed the world through his life. He was a friend before we worked together. He was a friend when we were colleagues. He remained a friend in his retirement as I succeeded him as commissioner. Today, we all lost a friend. We will miss him for his work and especially for his compassion. Our prayers are with Liz, Anna, Judd and Abigail,” mentioned SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.

Slive additionally spent three years because the coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series (2006-08) and two because the chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee (2008-09). Slive was additionally a driving power behind what ultimately grew to become the College Football Playoff. Following 12-Zero Auburn’s exclusion from the BCS Championship in 2004, Slive started campaigning for a four-team playoff in faculty soccer. It was a marketing campaign he carried on for years, and one which lastly got here to fruition with the creation of the College Football Playoff in 2014. 

Before taking up as commissioner of the SEC, he was the primary commissioner of Conference USA from 1995-2002 and the primary commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference when it was based in 1991.

A memorial service for Slive might be held at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday, May 16.

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