HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – After a long and eventful offseason without it, football was again the focus of the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday as the 2013 SEC Media Days kicked off at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive addressed the media, discussing a wide array of topics ranging from the accomplishments of the conference over the course of the past year, to how proud the conference is with the performance in the classroom, to the negative decisions some current and former SEC athletes have made recently.
Slive held court with reporters for 20 minutes, spending the first few moments to discuss what he calls his "brag bag", a list of the conference's achievements in the past year.
"I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary accomplishments of our student athletes year after year, and this year was no exception," Slive commented. "In the sport of football, the SEC won its 7th straight BCS National Championship."
The commissioner, who is in the last year of his contract, went on to discuss the conference's success in other sports. As a conference, the SEC has garnered a total of 86 national titles across all sports since 2000.
It wasn't all about the athletics, though, for Slive. He commented with great length on the successes of the conferences' student-athletes inside the classroom.
"Many of our football athletes excelled academically," he said before singling out former Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones. "Barrett Jones was awarded the national football foundations William V. Campbell Trophy, better known to you as the Academic Heisman. Three of the last four academic All-Americans of the last year came from the SEC, namely Barrett Jones in 2012, Alabama's Greg McElroy in 2010, and Florida's Tim Tebow in 2009."
But it wasn't all rosy during Slive's time at the podium. He mentioned his disappointment with the recent decisions of current and former student-athletes, comments that seem to be obviously pointed towards the recent allegations against four Vanderbilt players, who have since been dismissed, and former Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez.
"At the same time we talk about our successes on the field and in the classroom, we cannot ignore the recent off-the-field incidents involving both current and former student-athletes," Slive commented. "Not all student-athletes fulfill the high expectations we have for them. While the negative actions of a few garner headlines, the fact is that the vast majority of these young people conduct themselves appropriately."
CBS42 will have more from SEC Media Days throughout the day on CBS42 News at 5, 6 and 10 and CBS42.com
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