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Mike Slive Resigns; SEC Hires Dan Beebe

It's already been a day of surprising developments in the administration of the nation's most prominent college athletics conference

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC announced Tuesday that after nearly 12 years at the helm of the nation's highest-profile college athletics conference, Mike Slive has decided to step aside this summer. Conference presidents immediately voted unanimously to replace him with Dan Beebe, the former commissioner of the Big 12.

"There are only so many times you can listen to Steve Spurrier and Les Miles gripe about their annual interdivision opponents," Slive said Tuesday. "I was on the phone with Coach Miles the other day, and I said, 'Les, they lost to Georgia Southern. How hard can it be?'"

Slive will leave with an impressive list of accomplishments: During his time, the SEC expanded to 14 teams, won seven consecutive national titles in football and became one of the most lucrative leagues in college football. A conference network will launch in August, and in perhaps his greatest moment in October 2009, Slive essentially told Lane Kiffin to shut up.

Slive told reporters he preferred not to reminisce about his impact on SEC basketball.

Dan Beebe was commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference from 1989-2003 and of the Big 12 from 2003-2011. His greatest success came in 2010, when he was quoted in the ESPN 30 for 30 film "Pony Excess." He is also believed by some to hold the all-time high score in Angry Birds.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of running the SEC," Beebe said. "It's a significant step up from the Big 12, which had all the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. It's going to be much, much harder to break this league apart -- but I think I can do it."

Asked what his first action as SEC commissioner would be, Beebe said: "I don't know. I'll have to ask DeLoss."