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    Next Commish

    Published Sunday | July 1, 2007
    Will next Big 12 commish be listener or talker?
    BY LEE BARFKNECHT
    WORLD-HERALD BUREAU


    LINCOLN - By his own admission, outgoing Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg might have been a little too easy to get along with.

    Potential replacements Some potential candidates to replace Kevin Weiberg as Big 12 commissioner:

    The Insider: Dan Beebe is the Big 12's No. 2 person and chief operating officer. He was a semifinalist for Big 12 commissioner when the league was formed, and a finalist when the job opened in 1998. He is a former NCAA enforcement director and commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference, and currently is the liaison to the Big 12's board of directors.

    Current commissioners or associates: Two possibilities are Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. Banowsky, from 1996 through 2002, was Big 12 associate commissioner. Thompson was a Big 12 commissioner finalist in 1998. The person generally considered the top associate commissioner at a BCS conference is Mark Womack from the SEC.

    Sitting athletic directors: It's questionable whether an A.D. from a Big 12 school would be considered because of the perception of potential favoritism to his old employer. Trying to identify non-Big 12 A.D.s this early is guesswork. The last time the job was open, Terry Holland of Virginia and Ted Leland of Stanford went deep into the process.

    Wild cards: You never know when a leader of a different industry might be intrigued by a high-profile sports job. But Weiberg says a sports background is needed. "It's possible for someone to come from outside the sports community, but there is quite a learning curve. The issues are unique in many respects."
    "I've always been a good listener - maybe to a fault," he said.

    "My style was one of working hard to build consensus and to try to set a direction that people could get on board with."

    So with Weiberg leaving the Big 12 this month for a job with the Big Ten Network, there's a chance to hire a different style of leader.

    A chance, but hardly a guarantee.

    "I dont think you look at style," said University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman, who is chairman of the Big 12s board of directors. "You look at whether you think the person has the capability of handling the issues he'll confront.

    "There are a wide variety of styles that can get to the same place."

    One reason not to seek a radical change in style is because the 11-year-old Big 12 is on a hot streak. At the spring meetings, the league announced that it earned a record $106 million in 2006-07. The total was $54 million in the league's first year.

    In the past year, the Big 12 also signed a new television deal with ABC/ESPN through 2015-16 worth $480 million; extended football bowl agreements through 2009; and selected football and basketball championship sites through the 2010-11 season.

    Perlman, leader of the group searching for a new commissioner, said the Big 12 CEOs were happy with Weiberg's work.

    "That is clear," Perlman said. "We were all disappointed when he decided to move on."

    While consensus-building remains important, Weiberg said,

    the stage potentially is set for "a strong leader."

    "There is room for someone to come in," he said, "and set an aggressive agenda."

    But do Big 12 schools want a powerful commissioner?

    In the two years it took to form this league, which began competition in 1996, votes taken and by?laws passed indicated that members didn't want a commissioner who set an agenda and strong-armed members into following. The schools are in charge.

    A prime example is that revenue isnt shared equally, as it is in the Big Ten, the Southeastern Conference and the Pacific-10.

    And it takes a supermajority of Big 12 schools - nine votes - to overturn bylaws, instead of a simple majority of seven.

    As Weiberg said: "In this job, you don't have a vote. Ultimately, it comes down to what your members vote to do."

    Perlman said he expects a search firm to be hired to look for a new commissioner, though that won't be decided until the Big 12's executive committee meets later this month.

    When Weiberg was hired in 1998 to replace Steve Hatchell, the process took six months.

    "I'd be disappointed if we took that long," Perlman said. "But we'll take as long as we need to get the right person. My experience in searches is that it's a waste of time to sit around and think about what you want. You've got to find what's available."

    Such jobs normally attract sitting athletic directors and other college commissioners or deputy commissioners.

    In 1998, the four finalists were Weiberg, then the Big Ten associate commissioner; Terry Holland, then the A.D. at Virginia; Dan Beebe, then the Ohio Valley commissioner; and Craig Thompson, then the Sun Belt commissioner.

    Perlman said he expects a list of strong candidates.

    "We shouldn't have trouble attracting interesting people to it," he said. "The challenges are intriguing, and it's not badly compensated."

    Weiberg's annual pay package was $699,700.

    No extension yet for Nebraska A.D.

    LINCOLN Starting Sunday, Steve Pederson enters the final year of his original 5-year deal as Nebraska's athletic director. His boss, Chancellor Harvey Perlman, said there still is nothing to report regarding a contract extension for Pederson.

    "As I've said all along," Perlman said, "we'll address it in a timely way."

    Two other Big 12 athletic directors recently received contract extensions.

    Oklahoma's Joe Castiglione got a seven-year extension through June 2014, a $30,000 raise in base pay and the title of vice president of intercollegiate athletics.

    Said OU President David Boren: "This sends a very strong message that we desire and expect Joe to direct OU athletics for a long time."

    Iowa State's Jamie Pollard got a two-year extension through June 2012. Pollard was just 1 years into his original five-year deal when his extension was approved in May.

    Said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy: "(Jamie's) leadership and decision-making skills have strategically positioned our athletic program to make significant improvements."


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Next Commish

    JP gets extended to 2012 while Steve Big Head Pederson sits and waits at UNL in his last year. Maybe they want JP. Maybe Steve's job can be vacant.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Next Commish

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    JP gets extended to 2012 while Steve Big Head Pederson sits and waits at UNL in his last year. Maybe they want JP. Maybe Steve's job can be vacant.
    JP is a builder, not a maintainer. He would not be happy at Nebraska.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

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