Mike Slive Cause Of Death: How Did Longtime SEC Commissioner Die?
Mike Slive Cause Of Death: How Did Longtime SEC Commissioner Die?
Longtime SEC Commissioner Mike Slive Has Passed Away
17 May, 2018, 10:59
Mike Slive, the seventh commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, died Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala.
Prior to joining the SEC, Slive was the founding commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA.
Slive became SEC commissioner in 2002, coming from Conference USA to help clean up an SEC beset by NCAA issues. These agreements made the league the most widely distributed conference on television in the nation and also secured the financial health of the SEC and its member institutions for years to come.
Slive's accomplishments as SEC commissioner are many and notable. The league's 14 schools shared $455.8 million in 2014-15, his final year at the helm.
But Slive's oversight during the SEC's dominance in football will go down as one of his largest impacts. Overall, the conference won 81 national championships in 17 sports during his tenure.
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.
At the same, Slive was a soft-spoken family man. SEC football became a must-see event during Slive's tenure, and it's unlikely that another conference will match the SEC's former run anytime soon.
"Mike Slive literally changed the world through his life", said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Slive's colleague and friend. He was a friend before we worked together. "We will miss him for his work and especially for his compassion".
Slive retired at the 2015 spring meetings, though he had announced his intentions the previous fall, when he began treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer.
His impact was felt far beyond the footprint of the SEC. "Not sure how many schools were under NCAA probation (when he started), but he didn't put up with that".
Slive was a pioneer in many ways. It was a big story when Sylvester Croom was hired (in December 2003) at Mississippi State, and now we've had five (with Croom, Kevin Sumlin, Joker Phillips, James Franklin and Derek Mason), and it's a nonissue.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive congratulates Auburn running. "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.
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