SBD/May 4, 2012/Colleges

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  • Big Man On Campus: Bob Bowlsby Formally Introduced As New Big 12 Commissioner

    Bowlsby (r) is expected to earn around $1M a year as the Big 12 Commissioner

    Stanford Univ. AD Bob Bowlsby was formally introduced as the new Big 12 commissioner Friday at the league office in Irving, Texas. Bowlsby will start at the position on June 15 (Big 12). In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff reports Bowlsby, who replaces acting commissioner Chuck Neinas, is “expected to earn around $1 million annually.” Praise for the hire was “spread across the Big 12." Univ. of Oklahoma President David Boren said Bowlsby is the “ideal selection.” Kansas State Univ. AD John Currie said the selection committee “hit a home run.” Kerkhoff reports Bowlsby is “seen as a leader in the college ranks, having served as chairman of the Division I men’s basketball and wrestling committees." Bowlsby is “something of a non-traditional hire” for the conference, as he is the league's "fourth full-time commissioner but the first to come directly from a university" (K.C. STAR , 5/4). In Dallas, Chuck Carlton notes the task facing Bowlsby “is as direct as it is challenging.” Completing a 13-year, $1.3B TV rights deal with ESPN “would send a message of stability,” as would “persuading members to grant TV rights to the conference for the life of the deal instead of the current six years.” The conference then “can decide whether 10 teams is enough and where it wants to position itself” in a four-team playoff BCS (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/4). In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel writes Bowlsby is "not a powerful personality, necessarily, but the Big 12 never has sought a powerful personality, at least not until Chuck Neinas’ interim term these last seven months, so no reason to think it would change now.” Bowlsby has “no apparent ties to any of the Big 12 schools, which is a good political development in a league that has been very volatile” (NEWSOK.com, 5/3).

    WHO’S NEXT AT STANFORD? In S.F., Tom FitzGerald reports Stanford Provost and acting President John Etchemendy “will lead a search for a replacement" for Bowlsby, though it was "not immediately known if there would be an interim AD. Among the "possible candidates" to replace Bowlsby are Yale AD Thomas Beckett, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Exec Dir Gary Cavalli, Univ. of California-Irvine AD Mike Izzi, West Coast Conference Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich and West Virginia Univ. AD Oliver Luck (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/4). Another “intriguing possibility” is former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Stanford has “never had a female AD” and the university “considered hiring" North Carolina State Univ. AD Debbie Yow before it hired Bowlsby (SFGATE.com, 5/3).

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  • College Basketball Loses Marquee Matchup As Indiana, Kentucky End Annual Meeting

    Indiana and Kentucky have played a regular season game every year since '69

    The Indiana-Kentucky regular-season men’s basketball series “is over for the foreseeable future because neither school could agree on where to play the series,” according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com. IU “wanted the series to continue in a home-and-home setup,” while UK “wanted to move back to neutral-site games and offered to play the series at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.” IU AD Fred Glass said, "In the final analysis, we want our student-athletes, our overall student body and our season-ticket holders to enjoy this series at Assembly Hall." UK AD Mitch Barnhart said that the decision was “a change from previous discussions with Indiana officials.” Barnhart: "I guess they're putting that out there as a final conversation, so we'll go on from there, do what we have to do.” Katz noted Glass “kept some hope alive by acknowledging the series could be revived if Kentucky is willing to play games on campus” (ESPN.com, 5/3). The AP’s Michael Marot reported there is a belief that the schools “could make more money by playing in larger, off-campus arenas, but Barnhart argued that neutral sites would take the series back to its original roots.” IU believes moving games to neutral sites “won't provide the same atmosphere and that fans would be better served by watching the games in two of college basketball's highest-profile venues -- Rupp Arena in Lexington and Assembly Hall in Bloomington.” The schools have met during the regular season “every year since 1969, with all but one of those games played in December” (AP, 5/3). Meanwhile, in Lexington, Jerry Tipton reports the Univ. of North Carolina also “announced their series with Kentucky would not continue next season.” UNC Senior Associate AD Larry Gallo said that UK “did not want to continue the current series, which began in the 2000-01 season.” Gallo “expressed the hope that not staging a UK-UNC game in 2012-13 would mark only a ‘one-year hiatus’ in an on-again, off-again high-caliber rivalry” (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 5/4).

    A HIT TO THE ENTIRE SPORT: ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan wrote it “doesn't really matter whom you wish to blame, because the result is twofold.” Brennan: “We lose one of the great nonconference rivalries in the sport. ... We lose what could very well be the biggest nonconference matchup of the 2012-13 season.” The game “hasn't always been a marquee event in the past decade, but both programs are back at the top of the heap, and this is as marquee as they come right now.” Brennan: “College basketball fans are being robbed” (ESPN.com, 5/3). In Indianapolis, Terry Hutchens writes under the header, “IU, Kentucky Commit Turnover By Dropping Basketball Matchup.” Hutchens writes “everyone lost.” College basketball “lost a marquee matchup for December that could have pitted two of the top five teams in the nation.” But there “is still time” for Glass and Barnhart “to take a step back and listen to the message their respective fan bases are likely to convey” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/4). In Louisville, Eric Crawford writes, “Compromise, people. Play a couple of years at neutral sites with a 50-50 split, then a couple on campus” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/4). SI.com’s Andy Glockner writes, “It doesn’t really matter who’s to blame ... because, in a vacuum, each program should operate in what it believes to be its own best interests. At some point, though, people are going to have to start taking a hard and collective look at the good of the game at large, and petty me-first schedule conflicts like this are a big part of the problem” (SI.com, 5/4).

    TWITTER REAX: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg wrote on his Twitter account, "Games like Indiana/Kentucky belong to fans,who pre-date and will outlast those making the decisions.This is a disgrace." Former UK G Rex Chapman wrote, "Indiana & Kentucky ended their series because they couldn't agree on game sites? Can't wait to hear who was being really ridiculous." ESPN's Dick Vitale wrote, "Calipari & Crean owe it to their fans to make it happen." Sirius XM's Holden Kushner wrote, "Nice job NCAA basketball. First Kansas/Missouri goes away and now Indiana/Kentucky call the rivalry quits. What's next to go? Duke/UNC?"

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