SEC commissioner Slive takes aim at NCAA

The Sports Xchange

July 16, 2013 at 11:44 pm.


SEC commissioner Mike Slive at Tuesday's SEC Media Days. (Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

SEC commissioner Mike Slive kicked off his conference media days on Tuesday in usual fashion, touting championships and accomplishments on the field.

But it didn’t take take long for Slive to deliver a stinging rekuke to the NCAA, saying things have to change and that a re-examination of the governing structure of the organization was in order.

The 72-year-old Slive questioned the NCAA board of directors, poked fun at the NCAA rulebook and once again criticized the organization for not adequately taking care of student-athletes.

“We have supported and continue to support the NCAA as the appropriate governing organization for intercollegiate athletics,” USA Today reported. “But at the same time, however, we will continue to push for changes we believe are in the best interest of our student-athletes.”

One of those changes that Slive has championed for years has been full cost-of-attendance scholarships. Slive, who became SEC commissioner in 2002, has supported a miscellaneous expense allowance for student-athletes.

“The NCAA has not been successful in meeting the full cost of attendance of our student-athletes,” he said according to ESPN. “Conferences and their member institutions must be allowed to meet the needs of their student-athletes. In recent conversations with my commissioner colleagues, there appears to be a willingness to support a meaningful solution to this important change.”

Slive might have drawn some laughs by saying the NCAA rulebook is more antiquated than Gutenberg’s press, but the fact is a number of issues could be resolved if the rulebook was revised.

Progress has been made, he said, but challenges remain.

In questioning the NCAA board, Slive questioned if all the services provided by the NCAA’s national office, its many committees and task forces could be better provided elsewhere?

“For example, what changes need to be made to the NCAA structure to provide significant roles for the stakeholders, the presidents, chancellors, athletic directors, institutional administrators, conference administrators, and coaches?” he asked. “What is the proper role, function and composition and size of the NCAA Board of Directors?”

Slive also said member institutions cannot stop trying to eliminate “unacceptable behavior.” He cited recent troubles at Vanderbilt and Alabama that involved sex-crime allegations and accusations of on-campus robberies.

“We are not naive enough to think we can end unacceptable behavior,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean we will not try, try, try.”