- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Former Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive will receive the Spirit of 1776 award from the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

Liberty Bowl officials announced the award Thursday.

The award honors patriotism and love of country, and bowl officials say Slive embodies those qualities after serving in college athletics for more than five decades.

Slive was the seventh commissioner of the SEC between 2002 until he retired earlier this year.

The Liberty Bowl, sponsored by AutoZone, is scheduled for Jan. 2 in Memphis.

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