SBD/September 20, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Sports Business Experts Rank Best Commissioners In Sports

Stern earned sports business experts' top spot despite ongoing NBA lockout
Several sports business experts recently ranked the "best current commissioners in sports, factoring in various economic, labor and field-of-play issues," and the consensus was that NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN "is No. 1, though with an asterisk because of the labor dispute that led him to lock players out on July 1," according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. TIMES. Univ. of Pennsylvania Wharton Sports Business Associate Dir SCOTT ROSNER said, "At the collegiate level right now, no one's killing it like [Pac-12 Commissioner] LARRY SCOTT is. To do what he has done with the Pac-12 is astounding." Rosner added, "Track record, though, I think you have to give it to David. To think about where this sport was when he took over in the early '80s, so many teams losing money -- the majority of the teams losing money -- the Finals were on tape delay in many markets across the country, and David has brought the league to where it was" (L.A. TIMES, 9/20). Univ. of Central Florida DeVos Sport Business Associate Dir BILL SUTTON said of Stern, "I see him trying to make financial sense out of a game that's not making financial sense anymore. He'll endure the criticism and he'll endure whatever it takes to fix the game." New York Univ. Tisch Center Sports Business professor ROBERT BOLAND: "Stern's legacy is as one of the five or six or seven most important people in the development of sport." Stern is followed in the rankings by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. Boland said Goodell deserves "fairly high grades for bringing football back and for the most part managing his lockout in a way that it did very little harm to the game overall." Tied for third on the list are SEC Commissioner MIKE SLIVE and Scott, who Rosner said has "taken the Pac-12 from the Dark Ages to the cutting edge in a very short period of time." MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG nabbed the fourth spot, followed by NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN, MLS Commissioner DON GARBER and PGA Tour Commissioner TIM FINCHEM (L.A. TIMES, 9/20).
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