New SEC Commissioner experiences first Media Days in spotlight

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HOOVER, Ala. (WHNT) -- SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey first assumed his new role on June 1, but the true test came Monday at his first SEC Media Days in Hoover.

"Today was one of those moments in this process where it was real and it will be real again," he said.

For the first time since 1990, a face other than Mike Slive's addressed the media. In fact, Sankey said he spent the last 12 years hiding in the back of the ballroom, but now as Slive's successor, he was front and center.

"I recognize the pace. I had seen Mike live that, but now I'm living it, so that's different. But a pace that I was familiar with and prepared for in my view, but living that reality is certainly different."

Sankey first joined the SEC in 2002. He began overseeing the conference's daily operations in 2012.

Five months before he took the job, Sankey said he developed his new mission statement for the conference. While flying back from the Sugar Bowl, he jotted down "Scholars, Champions, Leaders" on a napkin. He presented that mission Monday with the goal of graduating every student-athlete, winning every championship and influencing the world.

"It's been a whirlwind already and it will be a whirlwind going forward," said Sankey.

As the chairman of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, he said he also plans to form a group to help the conference minimize conduct issues.

WHNT News 19 will cover SEC Media Days 2015 all week. To read coverage from day 1, click here.