May 29, 2015

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive is handing over the reins to Greg Sankey sooner than expected.

Slive announced Friday at the end of the league's spring meetings that Sankey will take over on Monday. His retirement was initially expected to take place after his contract expired on July 31.

The 74-year-old Slive was treated for a recurrence of prostate cancer and underwent back surgery. He said last week he was ''feeling better than I've felt in a long time.''

Slive called his time as commissioner ''the best 13 years of my life.''

Sankey has been his longtime right-hand man in the league office.

Slive will remain with the SEC in an advisory role through July and has agreed to serve as a consultant for four years.

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