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Slive Retiring as SEC Commissioner

The leader of college football’s most successful conference is retiring after 13 years of serving as the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. Mike Slive, announced his retirement on Tuesday and it will take effect July 31, 2015. The SEC, lead by Vanderbilt chancellor Nick Zeppos, has begun the national search for his replacement and is going to consider in-house candidates.

Slive stated that he plans to begin cancer treatment for recurrent prostate cancer. He was first treated for prostate cancer in the 1990s. Due to the treatments that Slive will be receiving, the SEC said that Slive’s travel will be limited throughout the rest of his term as commissioner. The conference will also look to Slive as a consultant following his treatments.

Throughout Slive’s time as the SEC commissioner, the SEC won seven BCS titles and a total of 67 national championships in 15 of the conference’s 21 sports. Beyond the championships, Slive oversaw a lot of influential change in the SEC. Slive helped the SEC land television deals with CBS and ESPN and this past August, the SEC launched their own television network.

During the years that Slive was commissioner conference revenues, which are shared among the 14 member schools, grew from about $96 million to more than $310 million last year. He successfully was able to bring Texas A&M and Missouri into the SEC.

Previously, before leaving to become commissioner of the SEC in 2002, Slive was with Conference USA. When he left Conference USA, nine of the 12 members of the conference were on probation or being investigated by the NCAA. At this point, only three of the member schools of the SEC are on NCAA probation.

Slive has made major advancements to the entire game of college football beyond his tenure in the SEC. He was a major advocate for the college football playoff system and for athletes to receive scholarships to the extent of a four year education.

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