SEC's Slive Addresses Joe Paterno and Penn State

Hoover, Alabama

SEC commissioner Mike Slive works for weeks on his annual message to the media. He writes draft after draft, revises then revises some more. Which is why it's significant that Slive became the first conference commissioner to address the situation at Penn State, albeit indirectly. Midway through his morning address Slive pivoted from recommendations on NCAA rule changes to address the situation at Penn State. "Last week's headlines remind us that we must be ever vigilant on all issues of integrity and that our primary mission is to educate and protect young people."

Slive continued, "No one program, no one person, no matter how popular, no matter how successful, can be allowed to derail the soul of an institution."

The intent of this commentary was clear -- an indictment of Penn State and Joe Paterno for the cover-up of child sexual assault. But Slive's decision not to name a coach, any administrators or even a team makes for a more subtle condemnation, an elegant evisceration. That's vintage Slive, allowing others to broadcast his position without actually broadcasting the position himself.  He didn't name Joe Paterno, but there was no mistaking at all who he was condemning.

In a day where there is likely to be limited actual news, Slive's commentary on Paterno and Penn State is likely to emerge as the primary story of lasting import. So far everyone else in college leadership has been remarkably quiet about the situation at Penn State, ducking all opportunities to weigh in on the controversy. With today's address, Slive stepped fully into the fray and became the first commissioner to criticize Paterno and Penn State.

In the tenth year of his SEC reign, the commentary serves yet again to establish Slive as the de facto head of college football.

No other commissioner has yet mentioned Paterno, now just about all of them will.

Few will do so as artfully as Mike Slive.


We'll have more from SEC Media Days today and all week and you can listen to our live show from 3-6 ct by clicking this link 

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Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.