The Southeastern Conference has announced that Greg Sankey will be the league’s new commissioner after serving as the conference’s executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer since 2012. Sankey will replace Mike Silve, who announced his decision to retire last month, effective July 31. Arkansas chancellor David Gearhart orchestrated the selection and found Sankey’s 13 years worth of experience with the conference to be an appealing factor. Gearhart released the decision during a press conference and expressed a strong belief Sankey has what it takes to get the job done.
“Greg possesses all of the traits we were searching for in the next commissioner of the SEC,” Gearhart said.
“He has shown tremendous leadership in his existing role in the conference office and he exudes a passion for the student-athlete that is critical for the new era of college athletics that we have entered,” Gearhart said. “He is the right person to lead the SEC at an important time in our history.”
Sankey has the difficult task of replacing one of the most influential conference commissioner in Slive , who guided the league to seven-straight BCS Championships from 2006-2012. On top of all this, Slive helped dig the conference out of several violations, and was able to establish the SEC as a conference that’s successful while maintaining the integrity of college sports.
“I think it was a great hire,” long-time Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan said after his Gators played the Alabama Crimson Tide at the SEC tournament.
Whether your a fan of the league or not, the hiring of Sankey was years in the making and should allow the conference to sustain their image for a long time to come.
“I think he’s really smart. I think he’s bright. I think he gets the big picture. He’s been involved in a lot of different committees,” Donovan said. “I think he has a really good pulse on the NCAA. I think he has a really good pulse on where college athletics are going. … I really believe they hired a great guy.”
*Section Photo credit to Mark Humphrey, Associated Press; Featured Photo (above) credit to Associated Press