The Son of New York Who Runs the Most Popular Sports League in the South. This person is very popular. During his time as an official at the University of Florida, Greg McGarity said, “He wants to be helpful, but if you did something wrong, you were going to have to pay for it.” McGarity went on to be the athletic director of Georgia for a decade. “He was not a person who could get out of jail for free.” If you broke the rules, especially if you did it intentionally, he didn’t have time for that.
One of the leaders of the Power 5 and a watchdog who is under fire
People in charge of the SEC had set up a meeting in 2015 to choose a successor for Slive. And even though Daniel Jones, who was then the chancellor of Mississippi, had been sick for a long time, he decided to be there even though he was very ill. He wanted Sankey, and he wanted to get him.
As an anti-charismatic person, Jones said, “I saw an impressive, anti-charismatic person, and I thought he was just right.”
It turns out that other SEC leaders were making the same calculations that I was. As chancellor of Arkansas, David Gearhart said Sankey was “not the flashy type.” That’s what we liked about him, he said.
In his second year as commissioner, Sankey had to deal with a situation that, at the time, was a big deal. When Louisiana State’s game at Florida was called off because of Hurricane Matthew, it sparked a fight between two of the Sports League big teams and some of their players. When an L.S.U. linebacker spoke, he said that the Gators were afraid to play in Baton Rouge.
Sankey came up with a plan that both schools didn’t like. The universities spent $2 million cancelling nonconference games so they could play each other later, and policy changes gave the SEC more power for similar situations in the future.
Paul Finebaum, who has covered the SEC for a long time and now hosts an ESPN show, said that a lot of people were wondering if he could get over it. In my mind, there were two ways it could have gone. He played it very safe, and he may have lost a few headlines in the short term, but in the long run, he didn’t make a big mistake.