March 5th, 2014 01:15 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: College Football Playoff, ESPN, NCAA, SEC
SEC commissioner Mike Slive revealed to The Birmingham News yesterday that he will stay on in his current position at least through the 2014-15 academic year. With his contract set to run out this summer, some wondered if he might walk away. Slive himself said last spring that he would take a few months to decide his future.
We, however, have said numerous times that there was no way in the world Slive would leave his post before the SEC Network actually launched. To think he would step aside and watch someone else launch his crowning achievement was far-fetched at best.
The 73-year-old said:
“I’ve got too much going on. I’ve got the (SEC) Network to work on. I’ve got football schedule to solve. We’ve got the NCAA restructuring. We’ve got a lot of important issues to take care of. I wouldn’t miss it for the world…
I’ll be here as long as you see me. I’ll be working until I’m not working.”
While many fans take aim on authority — “The NCAA is out to get us.” ”The SEC office is out to get us. ”Slive is out to get us.” — the SEC’s current commissioner has done a spectacular job for the league. He’s helped the SEC lead the way in television revenue via landmark contracts with CBS and ESPN inked back in 2008. Now, seeing that league-specific networks are the future, he’s cut a deal with ESPN that will see the SEC Network reach more homes at start-up than any other conference channel in history.
Slive oversaw the league’s first expansion in 20+ years which has further increased the league’s wealth. The SEC won seven consecutive BCS titles on his watch and nine of 15 (almost 10 of 16). He led the way in terms of the soon-to-launch College Football Playoff. He pushed hardest for full-cost-of-tuition scholarships and those will soon become a reality. Hell, the league’s reputation as an outlaw conference has even been cleaned up a bit.
About the only thing Slive has erred on — in our opinion — was botching the SEC basketball schedule and allowing countless longtime rivalries to wither away unnecessarily. But if that’s the biggest misstep in 12 years of leading the league, well, that makes for a pretty good track record.
Slive’s return is good news for the league.
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