SANDESTIN, Fla. -- The 2015 Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings, an annual week-long event, concluded on Friday at the Hilton SanDestin Resort. Mike Slive ended the meetings on Friday with his daily press conference. He announced that Greg Sankey would make the transition to SEC Commissioner effective June 1. Slive will remain with the SEC in an advisory role through the length of his contract, which expires on July 31. As previously announced by the SEC, Slive will begin his role as a consultant to the SEC for a period of four years, beginning August 1.
"The more I thought about it, I really think it's in the best interest of the league to make the transition earlier [than July 31]," Slive said. "I think the outpouring of love and support that has gone on for me over the last couple of weeks is really quite gratifying. It just seems to me that this is the right time and the right place to make that transition. It's a good break point considering the issues I worked on and considering the issues that Greg will face. This way it is really clear that the league will speak with one voice, and that is the voice of the future."
The SEC athletics directors approved a prostate cancer prevention awareness campaign during the 2015 football season in honor of retiring Slive. Each school will wear a blue helmet sticker for one game of its choosing in the fall of 2015 and may develop additional awareness initiatives at each school's discretion.
Action items at 2015 SEC Spring Meetings included:
• Approved independent medical observer in the press box for all SEC games and non-conference games.
• Approved elimination of conference restriction on football coaches' attendance at off-campus camps, effective summer 2016 (The conference supports and will advance legislation in to the NCAA governance structure that will be intended to discontinue coaches involvement in non-institutional football camps).
• Approved increase to fines associated with violations of the SEC's access to competition area regulation. First offense will be $50,000, second offense will be $100,000 and third and subsequent offenses will be $250,000.Commissioner may apply additional penalties as appropriate.
• Restated position that the Conference does not support an early signing period in the sport of football. However, if one is adopted by the CCA, it should take place the first Monday following Thanksgiving and only be applicable to prospects who have not taken official visits.
The 2015-16 SEC Executive Committee includes:
President: Nick Zeppos, Vanderbilt
Vice President: Dr. Mark Keenum, Mississippi State
Secretary: Joseph L. Fink III, Kentucky
Dr. Harris Pastides, South Carolina
Ron Rychlak, Ole Miss
Meredith Jenkins, Auburn
The revenue distribution information from 2014-15 was announced:
• The schools will fund new costs associated with providing scholarships based on full cost of attendance, enhance lifetime educational opportunities to former student-athletes and will fund the development of new facilities such as athletic nutrition centers to the benefit of student-athletes.
• The total distribution of $455.8 million is the highest in SEC history. The total includes $436.8 million distributed from the conference office, as well as $19.0 million dollars of revenue retained by institutions that participated in 2014-15 bowl games.
• Slive emphasized the importance that conference revenue distribution plays in offering scholarship opportunities to student-athletes in a wide array of women' s and men's sports and the continued ability to compete for championships in those sports.
• With more than 6,500 student-athletes receiving financial aid on an annual basis in 21 sports sponsored by the SEC, conference schools have won 81 national titles in 19 different sports in Slive's 13 years as commissioner.