Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Slive reflects on 10 years as commissioner


The Southeastern Conference has become the standard of excellence throughout intercollegiate athletics for the last decade, and no man is more responsible for the sustained success than Commissioner Mike Slive.

During Slive’s 10-year tenure, the SEC has won 62 national championships in 16 of the 20 sports the conference sponsors. The conference has also tripled its revenue since Slive took over. This past academic year, the conference won nine national championships, with seven national champion runner-ups. Of those nine, women’s teams won five. Slive may be leading the charge, but he never publicly takes any credit.

“This is a tribute, not only to our student-athletes, but to the commitment that our institutions have made in support of women’s athletics,” Slive said.

Ten years ago, there were no minority head football coaches in the SEC. Today, there are three minority head football coaches, eight minority head basketball coaches and five minority women’s basketball coaches.

“This is bucking a national trend,” Slive said. “I am very grateful that the hiring of minority coaches in the Southeastern Conference is no longer a story; it is simply part of who we are.”

The SEC led the charge for the new playoff system in college football that will begin in 2014. Slive has been a proponent of a playoff dating back to 2004, when an undefeated SEC champion Auburn was left out of the national championship.

“I’m often asked whether the new format is good for the SEC – and the answer is unequivocally yes – and it’s good for college football, at the same time,” Slive said. “We are now able to provide student-athletes and fans with a championship playoff format that not only protects the best regular season in sports, but enhances it.”

In the classroom, 42 SEC student-athletes were named academic All-Americans this past season –more than any other football bowl subdivision conference.

Now, the SEC is entering its 80th season as a conference and looks stronger than ever. The conference officially added Texas A&M and Missouri as only the third and fourth new members of the conference. The SEC has also partnered with the Big 12 to form the Champions Bowl, with the inaugural game set to be played in primetime on Jan. 1, 2015. The game will be owned by the conferences and will be placed in a bowl yet to be determined.

The SEC is also in the works of creating an SEC television network, an initiative Slive called “Project SEC.”

“Our objective long-term is to work with our television partner to provide fans with greater access to favored teams, more opportunities to watch rivals, and more insight into who we are: a conference of 14 great universities,” Slive said.

If Slive’s first decade as commissioner is any indication, the SEC is sure to reach greater heights during Slive’s remaining time as leader of the conference.

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