There's rarely much to say about Mike Slive's presentations at SEC Media Days. He tries very hard not to make news, or to advance the news only incrementally. After all, Slive knows that he is not the subject of Media Days. It's supposed to be about the teams, coaches and players, and the commissioner is content to play second fiddle for a few days.
But there was something Mike Slive finally said about something that doesn't even really concern the SEC that needs to be said. He cut through all the conflict and anxiety and columns about the Penn State saga and made a statement that shouldn't have been courageous -- but probably was in the cliquish world of sports administration and coaching.
There must be an effective system of checks and balances within the administrative structure to protect all who come in contact with it, especially those who cannot protect themselves. 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 statement won't get a ton of play -- most beat writers will probably put it in their notes columns and it got Twitter whirring for a minute or two -- and I don't think that's why Mike Slive said it.
He said it because it needed to be said.