Away we go with Mike Slive taking to the podium in Hoover, Alabama. Last year was his “agenda for change” speech. Let’s see what he comes up with today. (And don’t forget… hit refresh as we keep this blog updated.)
* Slive points out that when he took over as SEC commissioner 10 years ago, he’d never even stepped on an SEC campus before.
* After listing his initial goals from 10 years ago — financial security for the league, better academics, fewer scandals, and continue on-field successes — Slive then made it clear that the league has reached many of his goals ahead of schedule. To be honest, it’s a real “brag-first” speech from Slive.
* The commish points out that 62 national titles in 16 of the SEC’s 20 sports in the last 10 years.
* Also points out that the hiring of minority head coaches no longer makes major news.
* The SEC has nearly tripled the revenue it distributes to its schools over the past decade.
* Slive now talking about his “agenda for change” speech of a year ago. Says he still wants to provide full cost of attendance scholarships for athletes. (No wonder, the SEC is one of the few leagues who could do it… further separating the haves from the have-nots.)
* More NCAA rule changes are needed, according to Slive.
* Slive referred to the Penn State mess — not by name specifically — to show that new systems must be set up on college campuses to protect those “who can’t protect themselves.”
* Slive says his league is as strong in the classroom and in the community as it is in competition.
* The commish says both Mizzou and A&M “fit” into the SEC culture.
* For the record, Slive is one of those guys who says, “Missourah” rather than “Missouri.” I need Tiger fans to tell me who says “ah” and who says “i” and why?
* Slive hitting on how much national exposure the SEC gets from its deals with CBS and ESPN. Points out that the league’s syndicated package reaches 80 million households including New York and Los Angeles.
* Slive says “Project X” is now known as “Project SEC” and the goal is to give fans more access to their favorite schools. He wouldn’t give details, but he did hint that an announcement will come not too far into the future.
* The new playoff is “unequivocally” good for the SEC.
* Slive says the new selection process will cause schools to re-think their non-conference scheduling plans, according to their existing conference schedules.
* The “Champions” Bowl “will be placed “in a bowl to be determined.” Slive says the game will be owned by the SEC and the Big 12, but it does sound like it is definitely going to merge with some existing game. Jerry Jones’ mouth just started watering.
* So far, Slive has quoted Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare and Muhammad Ali.
* “We are not resting on our laurels. No champion can.”