Pac-12 Taps West Coast Conference's Zaninovich As Larry Scott's Right-Hand Man
The Pac-12 on Thursday “made a significant internal move” in hiring West Coast Conference Commissioner JAMIE ZANINOVICH to replace KEVIN WEIBERG as Deputy Commissioner, according to Chris Dufresne of the L.A. TIMES. Weiberg “will step down in July.” The conference in a statement said Weiberg “would relocate to his home in Kansas but continue to work part time on a variety of projects.” Zaninovich is in his seventh year as WCC Commissioner and is a member of the NCAA tournament selection committee (LATIMES.com, 3/13). In Seattle, Bud Withers wrote the timing of the Zaninovich hire "seems curious, given that the overriding buzz this week is conference basketball tournaments." But that might be "why the announcement was made now -- to avoid any future appearance of conflict of interest." Being on the selection committee, Zaninovich will "be in the unique position of leaving the room when not one, but two, leagues are discussed -- his old one and his new one." The move also makes Zaninovich "well-positioned to be the top guy in the Pac-12" if current league Commissioner LARRY SCOTT has "any sort of wanderlust in the next few years." Meanwhile, Weiberg was noted for being "helpful in particular in the kaleidoscope of conference realignment that burst forth" starting in '10. He came to the league after serving as Big 12 Commissioner, making him "well-connected for that role" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 3/13).