SEC begins ‘Slive’ era

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

He’s been on the job for less that a month, but new Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive has already mastered the art of stroking the egos of SEC fans and media-types.

&uot;This is the best college football conference in the nation,&uot; Slive said, addressing a room full of sports writers at the first day of the SEC’s annual Football Media Days. &uot;We have the best traditions, and we have the best rivalries.&uot;

Slive led off his address to gathered members of the media by listing the monetary and scholastic accomplishments of SEC football during the past year.

With hundreds of media outlets on hand for the event, many seemingly waited with baited-breath on the next coach’s comment. Also, the crowd waited to see how Slive would handle his first major conference media day. Others still wonder how he will fill the shoes of departed former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer.

Slive indicated he understands how important football is in this part of the country and what his roll is in leading the nation’s top revenue-generating conference into the future.

&uot;You cannot be a part of this event and not understand the depth of passion for this sport in this part of the country,&uot; Slive explained. &uot;This conference has a tradition of excellence. It is a privilege for me to be a part of this family and tradition.&uot;