Mike Slive, influential sports figure who led SEC's growth years, dies at 77

Mike Slive, influential sports figure who led SEC's growth years, dies at 77
Former Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, who led the league to unprecedented success both on and off the field and managed its growth from a regional conference to national giant during his 13-year tenure, died on Wednesday after a lengthy illness. Slive, 77, announced he was beginning treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer shortly before he retired as SEC commissioner in July 2015. He said he'd been first diagnosed with the disease in the late 1990s. He had been working as a consultant to the SEC since his retirement. Under Slive's watch, SEC football teams won an unprecedented seven consecutive Bowl Championship Series national titles from 2006 to 2012, the league's footprint was expanded by adding new members Missouri?and Texas A&M?through expansion in 2012, and it became the richest conference in college sports by launching the SEC Network two years later. In 2002, the thought of a Yankee running the SEC seemed akin to the... 
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