SBD/May 3, 2012/Colleges

Sources: Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby Accepts Position As Big 12 Commissioner

Bowlsby has been Stanford's AD since '06
Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby “will become the Big 12 commissioner,” according to sources cited by Brett McMurphy of CBSSPORTS.com. A press conference “has been tentatively scheduled for Friday.” Bowlsby has been at Stanford since ‘06 and will replace interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas, who took over when former commissioner Dan Beebe was fired in ‘11. One of Bowlsby's “first duties is [to] decide if the league should expand.” There are “several within the conference who want the league to expand to 11 or 12 for stability reasons and others who want the league to remain at 10 schools.” McMurphy writes Bowlsby “is one of the most respected athletic directors in the country.” He also was “a key component in working with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in securing the league's groundbreaking multimedia rights agreement that extends through 2024” (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/3). ESPN.com’s Andy Katz noted Bowlsby was “on the search committee that discovered Scott” for the Pac-12 AD position and “has a strong relationship” with him. Sources said that Bowlsby “had a strong endorsement from Scott” for the Big 12 position. Bowlsby is a “former chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee.” Katz noted the Big 12 “is on the verge of finalizing a new television contract, and the league exhibited a strong sense of stability at its league meetings this week” in Phoenix (ESPN.com, 5/2).

PALO ALTO REPLACEMENT? In. S.F., Tom FitzGerald wrote Stanford "may well look outside" for an AD, as it did when it hired Bowlsby from Iowa in '06. There "will probably be a national search for a replacement, but two people with Stanford ties will probably be considered" -- West Coast Conference Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich and UC-Irvine AD Mike Izzi (SFGATE.com, 5/2).
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