Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive passes away

Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive passes away

Slive, who stepped down as SEC commissioner in 2015 to deal with a recurrence of prostate cancer, is survived by his wife of 49 years, Liz, as well as a daughter, Anna, and a granddaughter, the conference said.

"Mike was a true visionary and someone I have been proud to call a dear friend for many years", LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. These included the SEC Task Force on Compliance and Enforcement which developed policies and procedures to assist league schools in NCAA and SEC matters; SEC University (SECU), the conference's academic initiative; and an SEC Sportsmanship initiative consisting of policies and procedures created to foster sportsmanship and encourage positive fan behavior. "We will miss him for his work and especially for his compassion".

Slive served as commissioner of the SEC from 2002 until he retired in 2015. SEC schools won seven straight national titles while Slive was the commissioner.

Under Slive, the SEC was a victor during the latest bout of conference realignment, adding Missouri and Texas A&M to its ranks in 2012. Overall, the conference won 81 national championships in 17 sports during his tenure.

"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 so good for the SEC". Nine schools either were under NCAA investigation or on probation. Slive saw the rise of the SEC into a college sports powerhouse and his impact continues to be felt to this day. "He said, 'This stuff is not going to be tolerated.' He commanded respect". During that time, the conference produced seven consecutive national champions in college football from 2006-2012. He was a guiding force behind the SEC Network's launch in 2014 as part of ESPN's family of networks, and the channel remains a visible part of sports media offerings today. 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.

But Slive's oversight during the SEC's dominance in football will go down as one of his largest impacts.

"The other area was that we had never had a minority head football coach". In 2002-03, Slive served on the Commission of Athletics Opportunity, established by the United States Secretary of Education to review the workings of Title IX. He was the first commissioner of Conference USA from 1999 to 2002, before accepting the role in the SEC.

As a prostate cancer survivor, Slive founded the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research upon his retirement. After getting his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth, Slive earned law degrees at the University of Virginia and at Georgetown before heading back to the northeast.

"When we first met, it's like I had known him for 20 years, so friendly and kind", Alleva said.

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