SEC commissioner Mike Slive will step down after 13 years at the end of this academic year – July 31, 2015, to be exact – the league announced today. Slive also revealed he is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer, which first reared its ugly head in the 1990s, but the prognosis is currently good. Slive is 74 years old.
“I have been blessed in more ways than I can count and I will have as much passion for this job on my last day as I did on my first,” Slive in a statement. “I consider my health situation a temporary detour in a remarkable road that has allowed me to meet amazing people, experience incredible events and celebrate historic victories. I will relish my final year in this position and look forward to being the biggest fan of the SEC for many years to come.”
Silve will serve as a consultant for four years after his retirement.
Though he was given a winning hand simply by the nature of his office – how many commissioners wouldn’t switch jobs with him? – Slive parlayed a successful brand into a national behemoth. With seven straight football national championships, a national network powered by the megaphone of ESPN, and the College Football Playoff era now underway, Slive retires with his legacy full intact. Along with longtime contemporaries in Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and ACC commissioner John Swofford, Slive is now the example by which Power Five commissioners will be measured.
In addition to his work with the SEC, Slive also served as the founding commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA.
The league has said a national search for his successor will begin later this fall, but Vegas would peg an in-house candidate, particularly Greg Sankey, who was promoted to executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer in 2012, as a heavy favorite.
Sankey is so well-respected, I’ve even heard some float his name as candidate for future NCAA president. Would be easy transition at SEC.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 14, 2014
The SEC release said a national search will be launched to find Slive’s successor. I’ve got $5 that says they’ll find @gscantweet.
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 14, 2014
SEC COO Greg Sankey will be the top candidate to replace Slive. It’s the presidents’ choice, but they’ll listen to Slive.
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) October 14, 2014
One (extremely fake) college administrator has already thrown his name in the hat.
I understand the SEC is looking for a new commissioner. If only a brilliant, handsome, vibrant candidate were available—OH WAIT. #Beebe4SEC
— Fake Dan Beebe (@DanBeebe) October 14, 2014