SEC Commissioner Mike Slive

Southeastern Commissioner Mike Slive talked to the media at halftime of the Tennessee at Mississippi State basketball game.

Talk about the television ratings this past season.
"Our CBS ratings are up 18%, which is a very insignificant increase in ratings. And we are the number one conference on ESPN. We also has over 6 million people attend our games this year. That is 97.1% at capacity. That leads the nation. And we sell out our championship game 8 straight years prior to the (summer) media day. It was a very good football season for us all around."

I was here and saw the publicity generated by the hiring of Coach Croom. On the SEC level, how has it helped the conference?
"It was a very historic and significant hire. I think it reflected well on the conference and it reflected well on the university. And it was treated that way throughout the nation. If you remember when we were at media day back in July, I said there was a national issue where we only had 4 minority head coaches in the country. And the spotlight would stay on the SEC because we had never had a minority head football coach. However, now that the spotlight is no longer on us, that doesn't mean the issue has gone away."

Are there two or three major things that you would like to see happen in the SEC soon?
"I would like to see us continue to be as competitive as we have been. And another issue that we will continue to deal with is put all the (NCAA) investigations and allegations behind us. That is really the next step for us. The league is just too good and too special to have those kind of issues. I said in five years we won't have people on probation and I think we are on track to do that. That will be an important milestone for us."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is You can contact him by emailing

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