Former SEC commissioner speaks to sports communication students



SEC commissioner Mike Slive announces the SEC Network, at the Hyatt Atlanta Regency, Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 30 coaches from the SEC were in attendance for the announcement. (Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT)

Elliott Propes

The Alabama program in sports communication is hosting special guest Mike Slive this afternoon. The former SEC commissioner will speak at 5 p.m. at 110 Graves Hall. Former Sports Illustrated writer and Alabama journalism professor Lars Anderson put the event together and expects great things.

“I think he is the most important and powerful figure of the last decade, when it comes to college football and really college sports in general,” Anderson said. “Just look at his track record of accomplishments.”

Slive just recently retired from his position July 31. Since he became commissioner in 2002, Slive completely revamped the SEC, and moved toward goals that no one thought was possible. When Slive first began, the SEC was not the power in football that it is today.

Of the 13 years Slive ran the conference, the SEC won eight national championships. Since 2002, the SEC has won a total of 67 national championships in 15 of its 21 sponsored sports. He introduced diversity when Mississippi State hired Sylvester Croom in 2004, the first African American football coach of the SEC. He brought forth the idea of the SEC Network and helped make sure that it was launched before he retired. Anderson also mentioned that he is the father of the College Football Playoff system.

“The opportunity to be around someone who has been so immensely successful, a self –made man has so much wisdom to offer, Anderson said. “I think whenever Mike Slive speaks one should lean in close and listen because he is so full of wisdom.”

Anderson said that all students are allowed and that it should last close to an hour. There will also be time for questions for the ex-commissioner and anything is open to being asked.

“I think it will be interesting to hear from somebody of that authority, who had that job for so long, and what it is like to deal with the coaches of the SEC,” said Lorine Fries, a junior studying human development and family studies. “I think it will also be interesting to hear what he thinks about the future of the SEC and if he thinks it will be possible to maintain the power that we [the SEC] have.”