Is it time for Mike Slive to go?

Is Mike Slive a failure?
For years everyone loved SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. He was a powerbroker in the NCAA. He was an expert at management, and knew how to lead the conference. He landed a massive television deal. He was king of college football—maybe king of all college athletics.

But something is wrong in the SEC. Slive’s control has slipped.

He can’t control coaches. He looked impotent in handling Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin. He tried to butch up in his handling of Bruce Pearl, but even that looks weak as we learn more about the compliance problems at Tennessee.

Certainly, the SEC has endured some of its most serious problems under Slive’s watch. The officiating problems became a regular theme of Monday talk radio in 2009. The 2010 season was dominated by allegations of pay-for-play involving Mississippi State and Auburn’s recruitment of Cam Newton. Whatever ultimately comes from that investigation, the entire Cam Newton affair damaged the entire conference.

The SEC brand was stained.

And Mike Slive did nothing to stop it.

When conference expansion started during the offseason, the SEC seemed to stand on the sidelines as the Big Ten and Pac-10 were setting the agenda. The Pac-10’s plans involved seizing part of the Big XII illustrated bold strategic vision that appears lacking in the SEC. The Big Ten hired an investment bank to guide its expansion plans. But the SEC seemed aloof. The conference stood aside like a pacifist in the midst of grand struggle.

Of course, Slive had a plan. He wisely offered Texas A&M admission to the SEC. When A&M considered a bold move into the SEC, it scuttled the Pac-10’s and Texas’ plan.

It was divide and conquer. Brilliant.

But it preserved the status quo; it maintained the balance of power. Sometimes that is a good thing, but not always.

When other conferences have visionary leadership, the balance of power can quickly shift. One area of particular concern should be television.

The Big Ten is in a dying region. Have you seen the demographics for the Big Ten states? Mismanagement is just one way to put it, but the region is not growing and in some cases looks to be shrinking. The Big Ten must expand and it needs to expand into states with a better demographic.

The Pac-10, now Pac-12, is in a region with much better demographics. And the conference has a visionary leader. The commissioner has figured out that expansion can be accomplished via television contracts. And expansion can be anywhere—even Asia. According to this report from the San Jose Mercury News, “The third phase of his plan to remake the conference … first phase: expansion; second: domestic TV deal … is to make a big push into Asia (and perhaps Europe, as well). It makes a ton of sense (and cents) given how many Pac-12 students, athletes, fans and alums are of Asian ethnicity … and given the size of that market … and the popularity of some Olympic and women’s sports throughout the Pacific Rim.”

Even if this plan isn’t a winner, it shows other conferences are thinking outside the box—beyond our borders. The Pac-12 has progressive leadership and a vision.

What can the SEC do to remain a leader? Is Mike Slive up to the job?

He sure didn’t seem up to the job of policing the conference in 2010. Unfortunately, Slive’s legacy in the SEC will be mostly remembered for the Cam Newton situation and not his other bold initiatives like the television deal or saving the Big XII to maintain the status quo in college football.


Add Yours
  1. 1
    A. Bertella

    He has been a total failure and he should go immediately. The SEC was once very well respected buthe has allowed the criminals in this conference to get by with murder and done nothing.

  2. 2

    Yeah, he may need to go. If he continues to do the right thing, these unwashed drunks will come after him with poison.

  3. 3

    The right thing? Auburn really is a cult.

    Everyone outside of Auburn knows the SEC messed up in its handling of the Cam Newton situation.

  4. 5

    I’m sure that you calling Auburn fans a “cult” wouldnt have anything to do with the fact that most of us are religious people who are proud of our faith, would it? Mention God, and people line up to tear you down. Thats what happens in this day and time. Thats what makes me worry about “modern American democracy”.

  5. 6

    I dare to say, Alabama fans are just as Christian as Auburn fans. We just don’t assume we are the only Christians. We separate our fandom from religion. Oh, and our coaches don’t use it as a recruiting tool..

  6. 7

    Yeah, you dont do that or break ANY rules AT ALL, do you? You dont assume you are the only Christians….well neither do I, as I have met many from different states through the years. Separate fandom and religion….Is that why when somebody praises the Lord, you join the rest throwing stones? I’m not perfect by no means, but I have my faith. Never tore anybody down for their beliefs, just wish some people would look at their own morals and faith before ripping apart another.

  7. 9

    1st, I don’t get your first sentence and how it applies to what I wrote. “Yeah, you dont do that or break ANY rules AT ALL, do you?”….I don’t do what?

    2nd, “It’s a God thing” after winning a football game is praising the Lord? Refer to the Georgia and Oregon games, please. Oh, and your AD and Tuberville said a prayer before Tubby got fired.

    3rd, I’m not perfect (wish I was), but as a Christian, do you not see that the way Auburn and its coaches use Christianity seem a little out of place? I’ve been Southern Baptist all my life and I was always uneasy when it SEEMED my Lord and is word was being used for propaganda purposes.

    4th – Cecil Newton is a preacher??!!!

  8. 10

    None of that is important in the long run. Praising God in ALL matters is what you are supposed to do isnt it. Judge not lest ye be judged yourself. And when this is all over, take heart, cause its a God thing.

  9. 11

    And Alan, even though yall have had some great coaches on the Capstone, cant despute that. Did you miss the fanatical worship of most, not all, but most of your fanbase? I didnt.

  10. 12

    13, read your post and then mine again, and if it still doesnt make sense to you, ask for help.

  11. 13

    I did… I asked you for clarification. You gave me none.

    “I don’t assume I’m the only Christian” does that correlate with..“Yeah, you dont do that or break ANY rules AT ALL, do you?”.

    I guess I wondering where the “or break ANY rules AT ALL, do you?” comes into play?

    So yes, I do need help in figuring out post response.

  12. 14

    “All good things come from the Lord and carry no sorrow with it”.

    IF, Auburn gets in trouble with the NCAA, is it still a “God thing”?

  13. 15
    C Hammah


  14. 16

    FBJ, Auburn can’t handle being judged without comparing it to Bama somehow, so you are just an idiot, blabbing on about things, talking out both sides of your mouth.

  15. 17
    Indiana Vol

    You Bammer MORONS complained about Roy Kramer, now you complain about Mike Slive; what gives????

    I guess the only way to make you BOZOS happy is to hire a commissioner who will kiss Bammer’s @SS!

    I have a news flash for the Bammer Moron Nation; AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!!!

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