April 19, 2024


Art Shines Through

Who will replace Bob Bowlsby as Big 12 commish, and where does BYU fit into new league?

In this Feb. 25, 2019, file photograph, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck gestures in the course of a push conference in Seattle. Luck is regarded by quite a few to be the frontrunner for the next commissioner of the Significant 12 Meeting. (Ted S. Warren, Linked Push)

Believed read time: 6-7 minutes

PROVO — When BYU joins the Huge 12 in 2023, a common deal with to the Cougars will not likely be with them.

Longtime Major 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby declared last week he is stepping absent from the commissioner’s chair, putting to a shut a 40-calendar year occupation in school athletics as he prepares for the subsequent section of his profession, very likely retirement.

Bowlsby, who turned 70 in January, calls the move a “pure transition position” in his vocation, stepping apart just before the Massive 12 is scheduled to negotiate a new television deal in 2024 with a meeting that will welcome four new members in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.

“I definitely consider the Major 12 and our member institutions are in a potent placement now and as we seem into the foreseeable future,” Bowlsby claimed. “As these, this is an ideal time for me to stage absent from the commissioner’s position so that the next leader of the conference can consider the reins on these sizeable issues that will occur to the forefront ahead of the close of the time period of my employment agreement in 2025 to established the stage for the Large 12’s potential ongoing achievements.”

With Bowlsby’s departure, a continual chapter in college athletics also closes. The longest tenured commissioner in college football’s major subdivision will be the SEC’s Greg Sankey, who became the league’s eighth commissioner in 2015. A few other Power 5 commissioners — Kevin Warren of the Huge 10, Jim Phillips of the ACC, and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 — have all been thrown into the work since 2019.

Bowlsby won’t formally stage down right until right after his successor is chosen, according to the league. But Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec advised The Athletic that the Huge 12 hopes to retain the services of a new commissioner within 90 times — a immediate turnaround for most position openings, but in particular so in faculty sports.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby smiles as he listens to a question during NCAA college football Big 12 media days Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Bowlsby announced last week that he will be stepping down as commissioner of the Big 12.
Massive 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby smiles as he listens to a concern through NCAA school soccer Significant 12 media times Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Bowlsby declared previous week that he will be stepping down as commissioner of the Significant 12. (Image: LM Otero, Linked Push)

That would give the new employ the service of time to acclimate to the new placement, new associates and new meeting though Bowlsby is all-around to assistance guideline the course of action. But make no miscalculation: The deadline of the new media rights deal, which expires in 2025, is the greatest endpoint of this shift.

With that in intellect, the meeting will glance to someone with encounter in media rights negotiations — which include tv deals, but also a media savvy for the future generation of broadcasting — for its top rated position. Familiarity with the league will support, but might not be a requirement for a meeting that at the time prided by itself on remaining a bus league primarily based mostly in Texas that will soon expand to 3 time zones among Orlando and Provo.

Could a sitting Major 12 athletic director choose the place? Would BYU’s Tom Holmoe be a candidate?

That a single is not likely Holmoe just turned 62, and while the four-time Super Bowl winner and former Cal head coach has lots of experience in soccer, most of his administration experience has appear since he was named BYU’s Ad in 2005. The identical could be stated of Mack Rhoades, the Baylor athletic director who stabilized the Bears’ athletic office in the several years adhering to a round of sexual assault controversies underneath Art Briles’ regime.

Rhoades not long ago signed a 10-yr contract extension to keep in Waco, a deal that could choose the 56-12 months-outdated native of Tucson, Arizona, into retirement. But some others, these types of as West Virginia’s Shane Lyons and Texas Tech’s Kirby Hocutt, may well be prime candidates for the task.

Other candidates may possibly contain Alabama’s Greg Byrne, who was reportedly in the running for the ACC and Pac-12, and Washington’s Jennifer Cohen, who has experience in the league at Oklahoma and a vary of university presidents like Washington State’s Kirk Schultz, who The Athletic reported “would be the very first phone” for the opening, citing many unnamed resources.

Darkhorse candidates include things like West Coastline Conference commissioner Gloria Nevarez, who is witnessed by numerous as a growing star in the job, and Huge East counterpart Val Ackerman. But equally lead conferences that do not sponsor soccer, a significant hindrance toward jumping to the Significant 12.

Here is maybe the most significant title of the candidate pool, one that started popping up even in advance of Bowlsby’s announcement had cooled: Oliver Luck, the former commissioner of the XFL right up until the league suspended functions in 2020 who not too long ago labored as a guide to the meeting.

“He’s well highly regarded, he is effectively-liked, and he knows the Major 12,” mentioned The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel, just one of the far more veteran scribes in the Large 12 footprint. “To me, the research commences with him.”

The previous West Virginia and Houston Oilers quarterback has experience in NFL Europe, as very well as from his time primary the Mountaineers’ athletic department from 2010-14. He also used several years in sporting activities management with the Houston Dynamo, and led the XFL pursuing a stint with the NCAA for 4 years.

Luck is just adequate of a newcomer to consider new matters in a swiftly evolving school landscape, but also understands the school athletics landscape properly adequate to in good shape in from the get-go.

“They want somebody with collegiate encounter,” Tramel mentioned. “The final decision-makers are even now fairly conservative they will not make rushed or insane selections.

“I assume everyone in the collegiate landscape is a minor bit leery of what Larry Scott did with the Pac-12 10 or 12 many years back. I know the new dude has done some great things, but I think the Huge 12 is significantly more probably to go with somebody with collegiate athletic encounter.”

Tramel spoke to ESPN radio in Utah County soon just after shelling out a weekend in Utah with his spouse, 1st covering the Thunder’s new match at the Utah Jazz then navigating to Provo, where he put in time with different BYU directors, media relations folks, and coaches prior to attending a sold-out BYU baseball recreation from Santa Clara.

He known as Miller Park just one of the top rated configurations in Huge 12 baseball — new or outdated — for a match, and praised several of the facilities in Provo a year and a 50 percent right before officially becoming a member of the convention (while introducing that “some services” will require upgrades before July 1, 2023, a sentiment shared by lots of in the meeting, many sources have informed KSL.com).

But there should be tiny question at the Cougars’ capability to compete in its new convention household in two yrs, even amid a time of uncertainty in the room.

“Brigham Young football has gotten remarkably far better, noticeably much better, the last two decades,” Tramel mentioned. “They’re not likely to battle in the Major 12 to acquire video games.

“It won’t be quick, but when the Massive 12 teams leave the area, they’ll know they have been in a struggle.”

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Sean Walker graduated from Syracuse University and returned to his household point out to operate for KSL.com masking BYU, prep athletics and anything at all else his editors assign him to do. When he is not covering a game, he’s generally listening to Broadway soundtracks or climbing with his doggy.

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