SEC Media Days: Mike Slive continues call for 'critical' NCAA reform

HOOVER -- SEC commissioner Mike Slive continued his call for NCAA reform, including greater autonomy for the five power conferences Monday.

Speaking during his annual state-of-the-SEC address to kickoff the league's media days, Slive said it's "critical" that reform follow the "vision proposed for the 21st century by the five (power) conferences for the benefit of student-athletes."

Renewing calls he announced at SEC meetings in May, he said, "The SEC vision includes a governance system that will provide greater autonomy for the SEC and other four (power) conferences." Among reforms he touted are cost-of-attendance scholarships, a major sticking point among have and have-not schools, which number greater in the NCAA's voting structure.

Along those lines, Slive called for "proper voting thresholds to allow for the enactment of meaningful changes." And if NCAA reform, according to an SEC vision, fails to occur?

"We will need to consider the establishment of a venue with similar conferences and institutions where we can exact the desired changes in the best interests of our student-athletes."

In other words, the power conferences break off and form their own league.

Slive's comments were nothing new. In fact, he went out of his way to remind the room that he first made his call for reform in this same address in 2011. Those calls "will continue," he said Monday, "until we achieve our desired outcomes."

The NCAA steering committee on restructuring will issue its final recommendations to the NCAA board soon, with a vote scheduled for Aug. 7.

Slive expressed confidence the power conferences can have their way while keeping college sports an amateur, education-based endeavor.

In other news:

(Bullet) Slive touted the Aug. 4 debut for the SEC Network and said talks are ongoing to expand the number of providers carrying it.

"Rest assured, there are on-going, significant conversations with potential SEC Network providers," he said.

Current providers to include the SEC Network include AT&T U-Verse, DISH Network and Cox Communications. The league has distribution agreements with Google Fiber "and several cable cooperatives," Slive said.

"I strongly encourage anyone interested in the SEC Network to visit," he said.

(Bullet) Among the four SEC Stories documentaries scheduled to air in the first month is Bo, Barkley and the 'Big Hurt', the story of Auburn's legendary trio of football-baseball star Bo Jackson, basketball star Charles Barkley and baseball standout Frank Thomas.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Medley at On Twitter,@jmedley_star