Florida AD Scott Stricklin mourns loss of longtime SEC commissioner Mike Slive
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Scott Stricklin joins chorus of those paying respect to longtime SEC leader
The news hit hard Wednesday for those across the SEC spectrum, from coaches to athletic directors to reporters.
Longtime SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who held that post from 2002-15 and helped turn the conference into the national power it is, died at the age of 77.
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin was among the chorus of SEC officials who paid their respect to Slive in the wake of the news.
“I’m so saddened to learn that Mike Slive, who was both a personal friend and mentor, has passed,” Stricklin tweeted. “He was a brilliant leader who cared deeply about the people he led and the universities they represented.”
I’m so saddened to learn that Mike Slive, who was both a personal friend and mentor, has passed. He was a brilliant leader who cared deeply about the people he led and the universities they represented. College athletics in general (1/2)
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) May 16, 2018
and the Southeastern Conference in particular, will reap the benefit of Mike’s efforts and wisdom for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with Liz, Anna and all of Mike’s friends and loved ones. (2/2)
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) May 16, 2018
Stricklin returned to the SEC as an associate athletic director at Kentucky in 2003 and elevated to AD at his alma mater Mississippi State during Slive’s tenure.
Slive’s successor, Greg Sankey, also shared his thoughts on Twitter:
I spent hours sitting with Mike Slive at this table in the @SEC Commissioner’s office. Every meeting was an honor & an education. Today, we lost a friend. Thank you, Mike, for what you have meant & continue to mean to so many. Our prayers remain with Liz, Anna, Judd & Abigail. pic.twitter.com/8U4JhEQpw2
— Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) May 17, 2018
As did several of the veteran Florida Gators reporters who covered the conference during Slive’s celebrated tenure:
The passing of Mike Slive makes me want to cry. We had a special relationship with our common issue of prostate cancer. He treated me like a younger brother, even allowed me to go on his private plane to three bowl games in one day. He made the SEC what it is today.
— Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) May 16, 2018
Heartbroken over the news of Mike Slive's passing. Always found time for me to discuss issues regarding SEC basketball and other league sports. A visionary who helped vault SEC hoops back to national prominence. RIP.
— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) May 17, 2018
Tough news, former SEC commish Mike Slive passes away. A gentleman in truest sense: approachable, available, kind, yet brilliant. Huge hand in making the SEC the power it is.
— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel puts Slive’s impact in perspective: How Mike Slive helped make SEC king while staying true to himself.
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In Florida football news
- The Chomp Chat podcast discusses Florida’s wealth of running back depth in 2018.
- SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi projects how the Gators will round out their 2019 recruiting class.
- A look at the Florida commits and targets playing in spring games this week.
Florida baseball heads to Mississippi State to wrap up regular season
- The top-ranked Florida baseball team has already clinched at least a share of the SEC’s regular-season championship and should claim the title outright sometime this week, needing only one win or one Arkansas loss to seal it.
- The Gators (41-12, 20-7 SEC) will look to handle their part while traveling to Mississippi State (28-24, 12-15) for a three-game series starting Thursday in Starkville, Miss.
- Florida will keep ace Brady Singer on his normal Friday schedule, meaning he’ll pitch the second game of the series. Freshman right-hander Tommy Mace (3-0, 5.49 ERA) will start Thursday against Bulldogs left-hander Konnor Pilkington (2-6, 4.31).
- The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and is available on SEC Network+. The rest of the series will be televised on ESPNU, with games set for 7 p.m. ET Friday and 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
- Former Gators star Peter Alonso making his case for a potential major league call-up this season:
Mets fourth-ranked prospect Peter Alonso hit two more home runs at Binghamton last night, including a walk-off. His 11 homers are tied for the Double-A lead. Alonso is also hitting .367 with a 1.173 OPS, which leads all of Double-A.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 16, 2018
Gators golf has record-setting performance at NCAA regionals
- The Florida men’s golf team won the NCAA’s Kissimmee Regional on Wednesday, finishing 42-under-par for the event to break the program record for lowest to-par tournament score by 5 strokes. The previous Gators record was set at 37-under at the NCAA West Regional in 2006. Florida also broke the program record for lowest single round to par with their 17-under 271 on Wednesday.
- This marks the program’s first NCAA regional title since 2011 and fifth overall as Florida advances to the NCAA Championships for the third time in four years and 54th time overall.
- Sophomore Andy Zhang earned his second straight individual tournament victory with a 13-under 203 over the 54-hole event.
- Read more about the all-around performance here.
What they’re saying on Twitter
- Former Gators coach Urban Meyer tweeted his congratulations to Florida broadcaster Mick Hubert on his upcoming Florida Sports Hall of Fame induction:
Congrats Mick! “Dallas Baker the Touchdown Maker”. “oh Mercy Percy” https://t.co/AcvjqqAu6g
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) May 17, 2018
- Florida wide receiver Rick Wells the latest Gators player to post an offseason workout video:
I Been Through A lot Of Pain In My Life I Pray The Lord Take It All Away. I Got Family Doing Life Never Gonna See The Sunshine Again & Pray It All Away pic.twitter.com/b9fZNV6axS
— SIMBA (@Rick_Wells3) May 16, 2018
- Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller eager to make his mark in 2018:
A lot of people got talent but who got that dog mentality?!!
— Ventrell Miller (@ventrell_miller) May 16, 2018
- Former Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson recognizing the success of his former teammate Will Grier with a link that might make Florida fans ill:
— Quincy Wilson (@dc_wilson954) May 16, 2018
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