Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has passed away

Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive passes away at 77

That amount increased each year under Slive's guidance and jumped from $309.6 million in 2014 to $455.8 million in 2015, when revenue started gushing from the SEC Network. Tackling the cancer with more treatments, Slive spent the past several years battling to stay alive. Mike changed the landscape of the Southeastern Conference and helped build our league into what you see today. His willingness to use his personal experience to help the broader community of those afflicted by cancer revealed the quality of fight in the man. Slive finally lost that fight on May 16, passing away at age 77 in his home in Birmingham, Alabama.

Updates with new lead and more quotes.

The conference released a statement following Slive's passing and praised his impact on the launching of the SEC Network, the conference's academic development, and the advancement of diversity. Named to the post on July 2, 2002, the SEC enjoyed unprecedented championship success under Slive's leadership.

Florida won the first of the SEC's streak of national titles during the 2006 season.

A native of Utica, N.Y., who attended Dartmouth and the University of Virginia Law School, Slive was known for peppering his annual kick-off addresses at media days with allusions: to Mark Twain and "Star Wars", James Baldwin and Nelson Mandela. He later became partner in a law firm in Chicago before turning toward sports and sports management.

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive talks with reporters. He arrived having founded the Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA, and his first task as SEC chief was cleaning up a league riddled by rules violations. These agreements made the league the most widely distributed conference on television in the nation and also secured the financial health of the SEC and its member institutions for years to come.

Then the SEC came calling.

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"It's shocking", SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who replaced Slive, told the AP. By the end of his 14-year reign in charge of the conference, Slive had stepped out and cast his own outsized shadow over the college football world.

The SEC's success was not limited to football under Slive.

Slive helped craft the new College Football Playoff and was a leader in the historic effort to reorganize the NCAA for the objective of creating a governance structure that provides maximum opportunities for student-athletes. An advocate for the "four best teams" model over a conference-champion system, Slive got his wishes.

But Slive's oversight during the SEC's dominance in football will go down as one of his largest impacts.

The rule that allowed Alabama into the Playoff this past season was the same rule that allowed Ohio State to get into the Playoff in 2016, after all.

Slive is survived by his wife, Liz; daughter Anna, son-in-law Judd Harwood; and granddaughter, Abigail.

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