According to multiple reports, Mike Slive, the longtime SEC Commissioner passed away in Birmingham, Alabama at the age of 77.
Slive was the league's commissioner from 2002 to 2015. Mike has always been a supporter of everyone involved in college athletics and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve alongside him for a number of years. He pushed for a college football playoff years before others embraced it and was a steadying force during a time of enormous growth and volatility throughout college athletics.
The Southeastern Conference said Slive died in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived with his wife of 49 years, Liz.
The current information on Slive's cause of death can be seen below.
Slive's accomplishments as SEC commissioner are many and notable. These agreements made the league the most widely distributed conference on television in the nation and also secured the financial health of the SEC and its member institutions for years to come. "He left a legacy certainly in this league of success and stability and growth that will always be remembered".
Slive previously was the first commissioner of Conference USA from 1995-2002 and was the first commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference upon its founding in 1991. The former SEC commissioner is one of the most beloved men in his position in the history of college sports.
"I am devastated tonight over the passing of my friend and mentor, Mike Slive", Calipari said. When he became SEC commissioner, he took the league to unprecedented success on all fronts. Overall, the conference won 81 national championships in 17 sports during his tenure.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called Slive "a true visionary".
Alleva recalls a meeting in 2011 with Slive and former coach Les Miles regarding an NCAA investigation into the football program that uncovered recruiting violations tied to the recruitment of then-junior college player Akiem Hicks. He first formally proposed the idea of a four-team playoff for college football in 2008, but it was shot down by most of the other conference commissioners. "But he was statesman". "He was also a friend".
"Under Mike's leadership, the league launched the SEC Network in August 2014, a national network bringing more than 1000 events into the homes and to the mobile devices of college sports fans across the country". He was the catalyst behind the creation of the SEC Network, which launched in 2014. He was a fearless negotiator who helped push the NCAA to grant Power 5 conferences, including the SEC, more autonomy and the authority to spend their funds as needed.
Mike Slive was born July 26, 1940, in Utica, New York. He became an attorney and founded a law firm that assisted schools with NCAA issues for before starting a long career in college sports. He also served as commissioner of Conference USA for seven years, where he became acquainted with Calipari. "I knew Mike was not feeling great and I spent some time last week thinking about his impact on my life". "We could never be who we wanted to be unless that was taken care of, and I think we've done a nice job of changing that culture".