Kramer out, Slive in as SEC Commissioner

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Michael L. Slive, Commissioner of Conference USA, was named the seventh commissioner of the Southeastern Conference today, according to Dr. John A. White, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas and President of the SEC. Slive succeeds Roy F. Kramer, who announced his retirement on March 12, 2002.

"We're delighted to have Mike Slive join the Southeastern Conference and serve as its Commissioner," said Dr. John White, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas and President of the SEC. "We think that Mike will build on the success that the SEC enjoyed under Roy Kramer. Mike is familiar with the league and he has been active on NCAA committees. He will bring the same level of commitment to excellence that Commissioner Kramer has done the past 12 years. We're excited about what Mike will be able to do working with the presidents and chancellors, athletics directors and coaches of the SEC in the league's continuing efforts to be the premier athletic conference in the nation."

Slive was selected by the chief executive officers of the 12 Southeastern Conference institutions. He is scheduled to begin his duties as SEC Commissioner on August 1, 2002.

Dr. Charles B. Knapp, a senior partner with Heidrick & Struggles, led the team that conducted the search. Heidrick & Struggles is a premiere global provider of executive level search and leadership consulting services.

"It is an honor and privilege to be selected as the seventh Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference - the finest athletic conference in the country," said Slive. "I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the presidents and chancellors, athletics directors and coaches to build on the conferences' past successes to meet the challenges of the future and to continue the conferences' winning traditions both on the field and in the classroom."

Slive has served on various NCAA boards and committees. Presently, Slive is the chair of the first NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee and the National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee. He is also chair of the Board of Directors of NCAA Football USA and is the President of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). Last month, he was named to the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Marquette Sports Law Institute.

Slive was also on the NCAA Management Council from 1997-2002, serving on the Membership Subcommittee and the Subcommittee to Review Automatic Qualification.

University of Florida Director of Athletics Jeremy Foley commented, "I think it is an outstanding choice. I've known Mike for 15 years and he has tremendous leadership skills. He is a consensus builder and I think he is very capable of keeping this conference among the nation's elite."

The 61-year old Slive has also served on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association from 1997-2001 and was chair of the Division I-A Commissioners from 1999-2001. He also was a member of the NCAA Division I Working Group to Study Basketball Issues in 1998-99.

This summer, Slive was named by President Bush to the Commission of Athletic Opportunity, that will review the workings of Title IX. He is one of 15 panelists that consists of former and current athletes, athletic and academic administrators and college professors from around the nation. Slive was the first-ever Commissioner of Conference USA when the league was formed on April 24, 1995. He was also Commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference when that league was formed in 1991.

His previous athletic administrative experiences include: assistant director of athletics at Dartmouth College (1968-69), assistant Executive Director of the Pacific-10 Conference (1979-81), and Director of Athletics at Cornell University (1981-83), prior to developing his sports practice specializing in representing colleges and universities in athletic-related matters.

During his time as Commissioner of Conference USA, the league, enjoyed prominent national television exposure, NCAA automatic qualifications and major bowl tie-ins, including becoming a member of the Bowl Championship Series.

"The SEC's lucky to get him, he's a great leader," said Tom Jurich, Athletics Director for the University of Louisville. "He can help them (SEC) through tumultuous times. He's got the background for it. We're going to miss him. He did a phenomenal job leading us (C-USA) from infancy to where it is now. This conference was a diverse package, and he's done a great job of bringing everyone together."

Slive's leadership has translated into valuable national television exposure for Conference USA with television partner ESPN Inc., as well as appearances on ABC and CBS. C-USA also developed a syndicated television network for women's and olympic sports.

The league's championship competition is enhanced by NCAA automatic bids in volleyball, men's and women's soccer, baseball, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's basketball. In football, along with being a member of the BCS, C-USA sends its regular season champion to the AXA Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., and teams to the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., the Houston (Texas) Bowl, the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu and the New Orleans (La.) Bowl.

Slive's efforts have been instrumental in expanding the league's membership. East Carolina joined football competition in 1997, Army in 1998 and UAB in 1999, while South Florida will compete in football in 2003. ECU and TCU were recently added as members for all sports beginning last season.

Slive's guidance has also been beneficial for the league on a national level as one of three C-USA representatives on the NCAA Management Council.

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford has worked with Slive in the past. "Congratulations to the Southeastern Conference on an excellent hire," Swofford said. "Mike is a proven entity and very highly respected in the world of college athletics. His integrity and capabilities will serve him and the SEC well. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role."

A native of Utica, N.Y., Slive was senior partner and founder of the Mike Slive-Mike Glazier Sports Group. Prior to the formation of the Slive-Glazier Sports Group in 1990, Slive was a partner in the Chicago law firm of Coffield Ungaretti Harris & Slavin. He operated his own practice in Hanover, N.H., and served as judge of the Hanover District Court from 1972-77.

Slive graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law School in 1965 and an LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1966.

Slive and his wife, Elizabeth, are the parents of a daughter, Anna. The Slive family resides in Chicago.

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