SEC commissioner talks expansion, more
by David Climer, USA TODAY Sports
Mike Slive has been commissioner of the Southeastern Conference for the last 11 years. He sat down for a quick Q&A:
Q: There have been some growing pains with a 14-team tournament and those two Wednesday night games. Moving forward, do you expect the format to be tweaked?
A: I’m pleased with it so far. We want to have 14 teams playing. I thought the first night was actually a pretty healthy crowd. The other option would be to go to campuses for a couple of games but I don’t sense any interest in that. I think this is probably the format we’re going to have for a while.
Q: Along those lines, is the SEC going to stick with 14 members or is further expansion anywhere on the horizon?
A: In some ways 12 is ideal but at least 14 is sort of a cousin of 12. Sixteen is a distant relative. We’re actually still in the process of absorbing both of these schools into our scheduling, particularly on the football side. It’s hard to absorb one, let alone two.
There’s been some movement throughout the country but that doesn’t really affect us. Even when we were at 12 we weren’t looking. Both Texas A&M and Missouri came to us. If they hadn’t come to us, I’m not so sure we wouldn’t still be at 12.
Q: With the Big Ten and Pac-12 already working with their own dedicated cable channels, there has been speculation about if and when there would be an SEC Network. Where do things stand?
A: We’re trying to focus on basketball for a few weeks but we will make a formal announcement about the SEC Channel in mid-April. Once basketball is completely over, we’ll have something to say.
Q: We’re at the basketball tournament but football is never very far from the minds of SEC fans. How do you explain seven straight national championships in football by SEC teams?
A: You could never have foreseen it. It really is remarkable. I think about Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and other records but I can’t imagine a record of this nature – seven consecutive … [For more on SEC commissioner Mike Slive talks expansion, cable channel, retirement, click here.]