On Wednesday, former SEC commissioner Mike Slive passed away at the age of 77. Slive was the SEC’s seventh commissioner and led the conference to unprecedented parallels.
The news broke on the Paul Finebaum show, with Finebaum delivering the news. After airing a video commemorating the life of Slive, current SEC commissioner Greg Sankey appeared on the show to speak about Slive and how much he meant to the current SEC commissioner.
“For me it’s about Mike for how he affected me. He was a friend before he was the boss, he was a friend while, he was a boss and he was a friend after,” Sankey said. “My heart goes out to Liz, to Anna, Judd, Abagail. He’s a great person and I’m privileged to come to know him the way I did.
“We started having BBQ at Full Moon about once a month and so it was in late April. I would have the opportunity to talk to him about issues. I’d always be five minutes late. And it was sort of like my revenge because he was always five minutes later when it was your turn as commissioner and I would always go long. Who knew in late April that it would be the last BBQ with him.”
Sankey also spoke about his connections to Slive dating back to his time in central New York, where Slive grew up and Sankey worked for a time.
“He’s the finest mind I’ve ever been close to,” Sankey said on Slive.
To hear the whole conversation between Finebaum and Slive, click here.
Slive greatly elevated the SEC to new heights, as he helped introduce the SEC Network, helped usher the conference through the expansion process by adding Texas A&M and Missouri. He was also the conference’s commissioner when Slvyerster Croom was hired at Mississippi State, making him the first African American coach in the SEC. In his time as commissioner, four other African American coaches were hired.
Sankey and the conference also issued a statement view Twitter.
"Today we all lost a friend."
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) May 17, 2018
In his 13 years as commissioner, the SEC won 81 national championships across all sports, including an unprecedented string of seven consecutive titles in football.
A memorial for Slive will be held on Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Birmingham. In lieu of flowers, Slive’s family has asked donations may be made to the Mike Slive Foundation at www.MikeSliveFoundation.org, which goes to research towards prostate cancer. Slive was a prostate cancer survivor.