TUSCALOOSA — SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was conspicuously absent from the Iron Bowl. On Monday, Slive told the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham that he would be attending Friday’s game in Tuscaloosa.
SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Slive watched the game from the SEC office in Birmingham and has not traveled to a game since Oct. 2. Bloom said Slive has been “kind of tired” and that the SEC office was the best place for him to be.
While speaking to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club this week, Slive addressed the Cam Newton investigation before any audience members could ask questions.
“We are in the midst of gathering established facts and I can’t emphasize that enough,” Slive said. “We are in the midst of gathering established facts, and when those facts are established, decisions will be made and then we will move ahead from that point on.”
In the spring, SEC members gave Slive new authority to suspend coaches or players over NCAA and SEC rules violations. Slive made the unprecedented move last week of suspending Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl for eight conference games.
“I was clear that in imposing the penalty in the Pearl matter I was sending a message,” Slive said in an interview. “In the Pearl matter, I thought we had the established facts and, based on the expectations of our conference, that it was appropriate for the conference to act at that point, notwithstanding the NCAA is still doing its investigative case.”
Tide players battered in loss
Several Alabama players suffered injuries during Friday’s 28-27 loss to Auburn. Crimson Tide defensive back Mark Barron said he tore his right pectoral muscle. He said the play occurred in the second quarter when Auburn quarterback Cam Newton hit Emory Blake for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
That prevented him from make a hit on a Newton’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Zachary in the third quarter.
“I couldn’t pick my arm up,” Barron said. “I couldn’t make the tackle. I’m going to get an MRI. I don’t know exactly how bad it is so I can’t tell if I’ll be out or not.”
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter on a hit by Auburn defensive back T’Sharvan Bell. Alabama coach Nick Saban said McElroy is expected to recover for the bowl game.
Alabama receiver Julio Jones suffered a knee injury, which limited his play in the second half. And receiver Darius Hanks suffered bruised ribs.