BCS National Championship Game

SEC visionary: Former Commissioner Mike Slive dies at 77

With bold vision, keen intellect and a gentle manner, Mike Slive guided the Southeastern Conference to unprecedented success and prosperity in 13 years as commissioner. He pushed for a college football playoff years before others embraced it and was a steadying force during a time of enormous growth and volatility throughout college athletics.

Slive died Wednesday at the age of 77 in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived with his wife, Liz, three years after retiring to battle prostate cancer. The Southeastern Conference did not provide the cause of death.

"It's shocking," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who replaced Slive, told the AP. "So many people cared for...

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