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SEC’s Slive Makes $1.5 Million in 2011-12, But There’s Still Work To Do

cigar-bourbonSoutheastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive shouldn’t have any trouble keeping his humidor filled with fine smokes and his liquor cabinet stocked with Blanton’s bourbon.  According to the SEC’s federal tax return for 2011-12, Slive raked in more than $1.5 million during the league’s last fiscal year.

Slive made $940,000 in base salary and received on top of that a $550,000 bonus.  He also made $22,128 in “other reported compensation” and $36,750 in retirement funds.  Toss in $14,934 in nontaxable benefits and you reach the full figure of $1,563,812.

Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Under Slive, the SEC has become the preeminent football conference in college athletics as well as one of the richest.  His work in 2008 on the league’s dual television contracts with CBS and ESPN ushered in a new era of mega-money for the Southeastern Conference (and for all the other big football conferences who’ve cut deals since).  Slive has orchestrated the league’s first expansion in two decades.  He and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby have changed the bowl-conference relationship forever by taking control of their own postseason affair and simply hiring the Sugar Bowl folks to run it (meaning more cash for the leagues).  On top of that, Slive’s dream of a four-team college football playoff is soon to be realized.  The NCAA rule book is being reworked in such a way that the biggest schools will benefit most, just as he’s pushed for.  And we at have no doubt that his desire for student-athletes to receive full-cost-of-tuition scholarships will soon be sated as well, once again giving big conferences like the SEC an advantage over smaller leagues and smaller schools.

According to a USA Today study of each major conference’s most recent tax returns, Slive’s pay is still middle of the pack money for BCS-level commissioners.  Considering the success the league has had under its current commissioner’s watch, that represents a pretty good bargain for the SEC.

But there’s still work we believe Slive needs to do.

In our opinion, it’s time he turn his glance inward.  The SEC’s “soft” cap on football signings is still laughable compared to most other conferences, meaning the league will once again see its reputation tarnished when some SEC schools ink 30+ prospects in a couple of weeks.

The conference should also create a uniform drug testing policy for all its member schools and the league should administer it.  The SEC certainly has the cash to invest in such a project.  And a universal punishment plan would ensure a level playing field for all.

Finally, Slive should think outside the box when it comes to future football and basketball schedules, instructing his league’s planners to adopt formats that protect as many of the SEC’s most-played games as possible.  Television networks need to have their requests filled, yes, but rivalries don’t have to be thrown out the window and traditions don’t have to be 86′d.

No conference commissioner is popular.  The guy in the big chair doling out suspensions and making major bucks will always be viewed as something of a bully by fans.  And depending upon a person’s diploma, the commish will also be seen as being anti-Hometown U.  But Slive has done a tremendous job since taking over for Roy Kramer in 2002.  The Southeastern Conference has seen its trophy case and its coffers grow on his watch.  Even the SEC’s academic reputation has improved with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M.

Slive for a million-five?  There’s not a conference in America that wouldn’t take that deal.



Who has the SEC ever added to the league for basketball ?  I do not really know who in the state of North Carolina belongs in the football SEC?    For the SEC to be pushed into taking Duke to get UNC with no Virginia School taken.  That  is not just one big mistake!  THAT IS THREE BIG DAMN MISTAKES!!!   Screw those A$$$holes!  Take NCST with UVA or VT,  Grin all  the way to the bank and be happy ever after!

SouthernBoiSB 2 Like

I agree that the testing/punishments for all schools should be universal.  It's hard seeing UGA bench a player for a game for breaking the rules while other schools in the SEC wait until their 3rd/4th offense before something is done.

RoadTrip 1 Like

100% agree with your suggestions, John. Those points clean it up before worse solutions are pushed down from the AA. Get out in front and set the bar. I also believe the uniform substance testing and work to retain rivalries in the sceduling will help recruiting. The testing should help alleviate some of the fears of the parents of recruits while the rivalries, especially regional ones, build a larger base that makes it more difficult to poach by non-SEC schools. Your point about the academic standing of the SEC improving with expansion also points back toward UNC and Duke being great additions at the right time. A great growing market to add that fits geographically while adding academic excellence and basketball. With the resulting financial windfall from TV, the league office should push some of its members to make substantial improvements in their facilities.


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