Slive to SEC football coaches: Stop the public sparring

DESTIN, Fla. — SEC commissioner Mike Slive has a look when he’s intense and/or unhappy.

His daughter Anna refers to it as her dad’s “googly eyes.”

Well, ’ol Googly Eyes brought the heat at the SEC spring business meetings on Wednesday at the Sandestin Beach Hilton during an impassioned speech behind closed doors in which he told league football coaches to stop sniping at each other publicly.

“It was awesome, he came with it today, he was really good,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt. “Mike Slive’s got real passion and he cares about our league. His bottom line was simple: We’re a team. I don’t think you’ll hear anything more from the coaches.”

Slive has simmered the last few months over coaches taking verbal public shots at each other, starting with new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin calling Florida coach Urban Meyer “a cheater” on signing day in February, all the way through a testy exchange on Tuesday here in front of media between South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Kiffin.

Slive said his pointed words weren’t directed at Kiffin, who has taken shots at Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. He said he just wanted to remind everyone in the room filled with athletic directors and football coaches what the SEC should be about.

Kiffin wasn’t available for comment after the meeting. He bolted out the door and headed for the exit as soon as it ended. The meetings continue through Friday, but all meetings of the football, men’s and women’s basketball coaches ended Wednesday with their individual joint sessions with the athletic directors.

Slive stayed late into the afternoon and patiently explained his message to the media.

“I have tremendous passion for this league, I believe in this league,” said Slive, who delivered his message from his heart and without notes. “Since 2004, we’ve won 36 national championships, including four in football, and two each in men’s and women’s basketball.

“At the same time, we’ve made tremendous progress on keeping the news about the players and not about matters that take place off the field. In my own way, I reiterated that. I had all 5-9, 170 pounds of me into every word I said. Somebody mentioned I had the googly eyes. I had no trouble finding the words. There were very few hesitations.”

Slive said that he has the ability to reprimand and fine coaches who don’t adhere to his message, which stems from the 2004 set of principles adopted by league coaches and athletic directors. But he doesn’t believe he’ll ever have to fine a coach, because athletic directors and school presidents back him fully.

“He made it clear everybody’s expectations and the accountability he’s going to hold them to,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said of Slive’s missive. “It was as honest, direct and clear as I’ve ever heard him. He had everybody’s undivided attention. When he speaks from the heart like that, with passion and emotion, it comes through.”

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Slive’s speech was needed, because the league has many new coaches, athletic directors and presidents since Slive became commissioner in July 2002.

“Part of being boss is making clear your expectations to the people who work for you, and Commissioner Slive made it clear,” Foley said. “He needed to renew his message.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he agrees fully with Slive’s words.

“We’ve got the greatest league in the country and we don’t need to do anything to detract from that,” Richt said. “We want the attention to be on athletic and academic performance.”

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Comments » 221

tripper writes:

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he agrees fully with Slive’s words.

“We’ve got the greatest league in the country and we don’t need to do anything to detract from that,” Richt said. “We want the attention to be on athletic and academic performance.”

Like a whole team celebrating in the end zone after their first score. Screw Slive and Higgins.

dvhill100 writes:

Never been much for trash talking. I understand what LK was doing. He shouldn't need to do any more. I'm glad Slive came down on everyone.

voloffaith writes:

Notice the writer of this article.....hmmmmm....yep a strong supporter of all that is UT(NOT). His words that Kiffin bolted for the door or are they true that Coach was in a hurry to leave. Either way this article has had me on the edge of my seat to see what our favorite writer from The Commercial A Peal had to say (remember his school is Conf USA) right? So why is he in Destin? Go cover the SEC and stay out of trouble Higgins......was that something he might have been told? No he was there looking for dirt on UT to keep up his love affair with my school like he did during BBall season with Coach Pearl.

kingsportvolfan writes:

Cant wait for the season!
then we will see how "civil" everything is.
go vols and kiffin!

tebowownsya writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MEYER,SABAN EVEN SPURRIER WILL TAKE A BITE OUT OF THIS UNPROVEN 7 MILLION DOLLAR NUT CASE LAME KITTEN IN ABOUT 4 MONTHS.SO LET THIS BIG MOUTH HAVE HIS FUN.

IceVol writes:

Memphis always entertains me.
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

BigT_Chief writes:

BAH!!! Too civil. Needed a few Dusty Rhodes "Bionic Elbows", some Ric Flair Figure 4 Leglocks and a big WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

CoverOrange writes:

Mr. Higgins, it didn't start with Kiffin, it started with Steve Spurrier, even though he denies it.

volstasis writes:

C'mon Mr. Slive, you're taking all the fun out of this media week bullsnot.

hotrodvol writes:

5'9" 170lbs. Sounds like Slive has little man disease. And you better bet he directed that towards CLK and Spurrier.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to tebowownsya:

MEYER,SABAN EVEN SPURRIER WILL TAKE A BITE OUT OF THIS UNPROVEN 7 MILLION DOLLAR NUT CASE LAME KITTEN IN ABOUT 4 MONTHS.SO LET THIS BIG MOUTH HAVE HIS FUN.

Does that mean you won't complain about anything he does or says for the next four months? Please?

hotrodvol writes:

in response to IceVol:

Memphis always entertains me.
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

Too good, thanks man.

Miavol writes:

I find it hard to believe that Mr. Slive felt it necessary to reprimand the new coaches in this conference about a few insignificant remarks several coaches have made with respect to each other. This sounds more like the coaches and the athletic directors of the schools at the top right now do not want anyone taking their position and have been complaining to Mr. Slive. If Mr. Slive is truly concerned about the SEC conference he should be more concerned about the character of the coaches and the players in this conference and not some irrelevant squabbling. I for one enjoy a little banter between the coaches it makes the games more interesting and certainly generates more press for the conference.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to IceVol:

Memphis always entertains me.
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

Surprising...
...that all of Memphis knew about this but none of the interlopers ever mentioned it.

...that the posters there are not whining and blubbering and insinuating that the world is out to get them like somewhere else we know.

VolMoment writes:

Slive didn't have the guts to go after Steve Spurrier when he said Lane was cheating in recruiting because he hadn't taken the test. By the way he had! We need a new commissioner.

TD_4_UT writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey expat I was just about to post that very thought.

senracjr writes:

I don't care to much for Slive, he has the tendancy to suck up to the Gators and Bammers because they have won a few more titles than the others. Everyone should be treated equal.

TD_4_UT writes:

Slive is just Foley's point man.

TommyJack writes:

Sounds like a gag order. I wish CLK had said more.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Sounds like a gag order. I wish CLK had said more.

I bet a year's salary he ain't done yet!!!
The next thing you know they will say you can't celebrate after a touchdown!!!
Oh wait, that's gone also!!!
I thought college was supposed to be fun and a time when you can show your enthusiasm?
Oh well Stones ain't scared but it seems the rest of the league is because they sure keep their eyes on him to see what he is doing!!!

VolunteerMan writes:

At what point during the conference will they hand out the "Fulmer Cup" to Urban Cryer. I wonder when the seminar on knocking felonies down to misdemeanors is? Hopefully, Urban will be in the front row taking notes.

Sovol writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

stevefrommemphis writes:

Tennessee fans need to remind Mr. Slive to move the SEC Media Days out of Birmingham like he promised to do after the Alabama [comments deleted to avoid potential slander charge] put on such a circus last year. (I may be losing track of time - wasn't it last year that Fulmer got served with a supoena at Media Days?)

We should hold Slive's feet to the fire on this one, Vol fans. Move it to a neutral site like Nashville where any fans of the home team that show up will act like mature ladies and gentlemen.

I'm going to call the SEC office tomorrow to ask if Media Days are going to be moved out of Birmingham - and if not, why not.

VolunteerMan writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Tennessee fans need to remind Mr. Slive to move the SEC Media Days out of Birmingham like he promised to do after the Alabama [comments deleted to avoid potential slander charge] put on such a circus last year. (I may be losing track of time - wasn't it last year that Fulmer got served with a supoena at Media Days?)

We should hold Slive's feet to the fire on this one, Vol fans. Move it to a neutral site like Nashville where any fans of the home team that show up will act like mature ladies and gentlemen.

I'm going to call the SEC office tomorrow to ask if Media Days are going to be moved out of Birmingham - and if not, why not.

They are in Destin, FL

Rick4UT writes:

It was OK for Fulmer to be picked on .....Citrus without UT Give be a break if Urban can not take it then he should go on to his next job. Wonder where that will be ???

JMP_Vols writes:

Slive's request seems reasonable.
Don't think Kiffin will comply though.

Colliervol writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Notice the writer of this article.....hmmmmm....yep a strong supporter of all that is UT(NOT). His words that Kiffin bolted for the door or are they true that Coach was in a hurry to leave. Either way this article has had me on the edge of my seat to see what our favorite writer from The Commercial A Peal had to say (remember his school is Conf USA) right? So why is he in Destin? Go cover the SEC and stay out of trouble Higgins......was that something he might have been told? No he was there looking for dirt on UT to keep up his love affair with my school like he did during BBall season with Coach Pearl.

"His school" is not in Conference USeless. Higgins has no involvement with Memphis or CUSA. (He is originally from Louisiana I believe.) Despite some of his issues lately with UT, he is one of the more knowledgeable writers on the SEC beat and is free to express his opinion.

I don't blame Slive for finally getting enough of this. Kiffin accomplished his purpose of getting UT back on the publicity map but I believe he can back off now. Still don't think they all have to have a love-in though.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to VolunteerMan:

They are in Destin, FL

Media day is still in Birmingham though

Volalumnus writes:

Time for Slive to go.
The man just isn't man enough for the SEC.

We need a commissioner that stands up for the conference and stops fighting with it.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Outstanding post AO..you hit the nail on the head with that one.

TD_4_UT writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

now that's funny, I don't care who you are HA HA!!

Volalumnus writes:

gatorz5, mike did a great job getting FL into the NCAA dance.
Yelp he does a great job beating down his own conference, ... a terrible and unexcuseable job fighting for his own conference.

Volalumnus writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I rather see a new commissioner that is more concerned with the number of teams represented and where they are represented from his conference than the one we have who never takes advantage of the weight of the conference

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not in Kiffin's DNA to make nice.

back2backchamps writes:

For all yu Slive bashers,,,he wasn't the commish when Spurrier was at UF and the "STFU about other schools" rules were adopted in 2004, after Fulmer quit getting to the Citrus Bowl...
Who cares where they hold media days other than the media? Maybe they could move it to Hawaii. I bet the coaches and media boys would like that.

panties4tebow writes:

Slive said his pointed words weren’t directed at Kiffin, who has taken shots at Florida, South Carolina and Alabama.

In other words ugly googly eyes (slive) was telling all the cryin, lyin and cheatin LIL-baby coaches that he didn't have the time to listen to them cryin and pouting over getting their little bitty hearts hurt and that he did not have the time to be bothered by a bunch of cry babies so that is why he was going to enforce the gag rule.

Volalumnus writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Slive did a lousy job fighting for his conference and he shouldn't be in the position he is in if he can do no better than he is doing.

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point.

Volalumnus writes:

in response to JMP_Vols:

Good point.

2nd that.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just to clarify, I AM referring to the Media Days in August. The August event is what Slive said they were going to move. The thing they're having now is something they always have in Destin.

It's still three months away, plenty of time for Slive to honor his promise and find a neutral location.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to VolunteerMan:

They are in Destin, FL

same response as my comment to gatorz5 above

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Absolutely no chance Kiffin stays quiet until September.

Slive will have to deal.

tripper writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Valdosta, GA?

dvols writes:

hmmmmm...seems like vols main story agian...

im just sayin

tdforvols writes:

I guess next year "no jive Slive" will outlaw trash-talking by the players as well. That's what's wrong with these stuffed suits in both the NCAA and the NFL - always trying to take the emotion out of the game.

rbatten9#231828 writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well I think Valdosta would be very accommodating.

Hounddog writes:

I've got to share!

This morning I woke up in a hotel just north of Birmingham. Instead of delivering The USA Today... like every other state. I, and all the other guest opened their doors to find the local newspaper (whatever the name.

On the front page high and centered was a picture of our head coach accompanied by a circle of ORANGE with a T in the middle. Thanks coach...you are indeed putting the BIG ORANGE in front of a lot of people. Great job and GO VOLS!

back2backchamps writes:

You are right WD, the only news that usually comes out of these spring meetings are how much money the league will split.
Rumor is Slive will be adressing posters on this site later this week about playing nice.

panties4tebow writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great response!!!!!!!!!

lebvol writes:

Speaking of media days, I believe they should be held in Atlanta. This is where the championship game is played and this is also the largest city in the south. I've been wanting to see this change for a long time.

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