Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dan Beebe named Big 12 Commisioner

Former OVC commish, and Big 12 COO Dan Beebe has been named the new commisioner of the Big 12 conference. From the article at

Beebe promoted, succeeds Weiberg as Big 12 commish news services

Updated: September 5, 2007, 4:16 PM ET

DALLAS -- The Big 12 Conference named Dan Beebe as its new commissioner Wednesday, nearly two months after he took the job in an interim role.

The former Ohio Valley Conference commissioner has been acting as commissioner since July, after Kevin Weiberg stepped down to take a job with the Big 10 Network.

Weiberg held the post for nine years.

Beebe, who had been the Big 12's chief operating officer since 2003, agreed to a five-year contract. Terms were not immediately released.

"I will bring my experience as a conference leader ... in taking the Big 12 to the next level of success as from a competitive and financial standpoint," Beebe said. . . .

Are the compliance problems in the Big 12 a priority as well?

In a phone interview with ESPN's Joe Schad prior to his introductory news conference, Beebe discussed recent Big 12 rules violations in football, including at Oklahoma and Texas, and said they are not indicative of a conference-wide isssue.

"My hope is these are anomolies and not a part of any widespread or elaborate schemes," Beebe said. "It can't be perfect. And the coaches are in the best position to stop these things. "In the two situations you bring up, people outside the athletic departments provided extra benefits. These are the instances that keep us awake at night. We need and will have a clear message that extra benefits will not be allowed in this conference."
For now, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. There is too much 'move along, there is nothing to see here' in his comments to completely dispel suspicion, and he will have to be closely watched. An article from June provides a bit more color on Beebe, in addition to some of the background to the Big 12's decision:

Big 12 may seek more dynamic leader

10:29 PM CDT on Thursday, June 14, 2007

For nine years, Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg was in charge of placating a dozen presidents and athletic directors along with hard-balling TV executives, glad-handing bowl reps, meeting with city officials wanting to host championships and charting a course for a league that started with no tradition.

After Weiberg announced Thursday that he was leaving to start a new career as a television executive at the Big Ten Network, there was shock and sadness from the schools he served. . . .

Critics of Weiberg will say he was too mild-mannered to lead a power conference. . . .

One candidate who will never be accused of being mild mannered is Dan Beebe, the Big 12's senior associate commissioner since 2003, who already has some support for consideration as Weiberg's successor.

Beebe declined to be interviewed Thursday. But for those in the Big 12 wanting to seek continuity established under Weiberg, Beebe could be an interesting candidate. He is the former commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and served as NCAA director of enforcement from 1987 to '89. He's the current liaison to the Big 12 presidents and chancellors, which could help his cause. And he doesn't hold back his opinions.

"Dan's a former rugby player," Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins said. "Need I say more? He's very thoughtful, a strong personality, extremely bright. He's one of the most honest and ethical people I've been around. He's a team guy and a team builder."

Perkins hired Weiberg, Beebe and Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser to work for him when Perkins was athletic director at Wichita State in the 1980s.

Beebe was in charge of NCAA compliance at Wichita State. Weiser was in charge of academic programming, and Weiberg was senior associate athletic director.

There is no bigger fan of Weiberg than Weiser. And Weiser said Beebe might be the right fit to succeed their longtime friend.

"Dan's got a different style from Kevin and a different approach, and I think some of those differences might be what our league needs at this point," Weiser said.

"Dan will drill right down to a core of an issue. Either we'll agree or disagree. But I think he'll be more inclined to bring things to a head. We might break more eggs along the way, but I think in Dan's mind, that's not necessarily a bad thing. And I'm not sure I can disagree with that.

"It might be time for us to break a few eggs, step on some toes and make things a little more uncomfortable than things have been in the past."

But whose toes? Those of tawdry boosters and apologists for academic failure? One can only hope on this issue, or more appropriately, pray.

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