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Volume 20 No. 42
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What others are saying …

“He brought this broad vision of marketing, and more than anybody, he may have been the one that started this movement from conference to conference that we still have going on today. He saw the opportunity to expand the conference. He even looked with exciting eyes toward Texas. He was hoping to get Texas A&M and Texas into the SEC. Can you imagine what that would have done to the market? We now have some of what he saw many years ago.”

Former University of Georgia coach and athletic director

“He laid the groundwork for some of the successes in television and national scope the SEC has enjoyed. Because of his personality and the fact that he had a national audience with his being from the Air Force and a first-of-his-kind in the commissioner’s role, he helped pull the SEC out of the SEC in terms of giving it a national and much broader footprint.”

President of Southern Methodist University, and
former chancellor of the University of Mississippi

“I remember him telling me a long time ago that everyone should take 15 minutes out of their day to close their eyes and just think. Not take a nap. Just think. You’ll never know what will hit you.”

Fox Sports broadcaster, and former USOC executive

“He always kept you off balance. You’d be right in the middle of sharing a plan and he’d say, ‘Why do you wear brown socks?’ You’d think, ‘What?’ It was his way of keeping you off balance and making sure you know what you’re doing.”

Former U.S. Olympic Committee executive

“One of the things he does best is he wins all the first meetings. By that, I mean he has a combination of physical presence, intellectual prowess and self-assurance that endures to the benefit of any organization he’s representing. When he walks into a deal, you know on the other side, you’re meeting with the best, competing with the best and you better be prepared.”

Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, and former president
and CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games

“With Harvey, you don’t buy green bananas.”

Former CBS Sports president

“He’s just a talented individual who makes his impact everywhere he goes.”

Former USOC Chairman

“This is something I learned from Harvey. I want to hire people who made mistakes. If they dance around and can’t think of ones, I won’t hire them. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying to push the envelope.”

USA Hockey executive director

“We’ve had some great leaders with F. Don Miller and others, but Harvey was the first professional CEO of the USOC.”

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO

“He’s a sheer force of will, attitude and confidence. That’s why he’s able to make those leaps into those jobs. Even though he didn’t have the direct experience, he had that military experience. He understood leadership and motivation.”

Gannett chief digital officer

“There was no way in the world that there would be a YES Network without Harvey getting involved. Our objective was to create it, but we didn’t have a leader to do that. George said, ‘He would be my No. 1 draft pick. Overnight we would be a serious contender if we could get Harvey.’”

Former YankeeNets board member

“If you asked him a question, you got a direct answer. He didn’t have long, flowery explanations. You got the meat served to you straightforwardly.”

Former Auburn University president

“Ted trusted him a lot. That certainly opened up the coffers a bit to up the production value and hire higher-priced talent.”
Former Turner Sports executive producer

“He’s a teacher and professor by training. That scholarly interest keeps him motivated.”
Senior vice president of communications at NBC Sports,
and former Turner Sports senior vice president

“He deserves to be in the pantheon for his excellence, his caring, his persistence and his durability. He never stops, and that’s what’s great about him.”

NBA Commissioner

— Compiled by Tripp Mickle