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Football: Bowlsby offered Big 12 commissioner job

According to multiple sources, Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has been offered the job of Big 12 commissioner and is expected to accept the job. Bowlsby will replace interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who stepped in as interim commissioner when Dan Beebe, who had been the commissioner since 2007, was fired in September 2011.

The 60-year-old Bowlsby, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, was the athletic director at Northern Iowa from 1984-1991 and the athletic director at the University of Iowa from 1991-2006. Bowlsby replaced Ted Leland as Stanford’s sixth athletic director in April 2006.

Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby (above, center) has been offered the job of Big 12 commissioner and is expected to accept it. Bowlsby has been a big part of Stanford's recent athletic success, including the hiring of Jim Harbaugh and the recent landmark Pac-12 television deal. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

In addition to his experience in Iowa and on the Farm, Bowlsby is also on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors, and was the head of the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee in 2006.

Under his leadership, Stanford has continued its tradition of athletic success, extending its unprecedented streak of consecutive seasons with an NCAA title to 35 years. The Cardinal also became the second athletics program ever with 100 NCAA team titles. Stanford added the inaugural women’s Capital One Cup to its trophy case to go along with its 17 consecutive Directors’ Cups. In 2011, Bowlsby signed a contract extension with Stanford that ran through 2017.

Bowlsby was highly influential in the resurgence of Stanford football during his time on the Farm, as he hired Jim Harbaugh as the head football coach in 2006. Bowlsby was also instrumental in the hiring process for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and in the negotiations for the Pac-12′s $3 billion dollar television deal in 2011.

The Big 12 Conference is in the midst of change, starting with the departures of Colorado and Nebraska to the Pac-12 and Big Ten, respectively, last year. After a year with 10 schools, the Big 12 lost two more when Missouri and Texas A&M decided to leave for the SEC. Faced with the possibility of collapse, the Big 12 has agreed to add West Virginia and TCU to get back to 10 schools for next season.

  • Pac-Man in Palo Alto

    The rumour is Condi Rice will be asked to take the AD position. As a Stanford alumni, this bothers me immensely given Secretary Rice’s previous affiliation withthe Bush-Cheney Administration and her lack of a spine when it came to objecting to the initiation of a war of choice that cost the United States taxpayers over $2 Trillion, and in a more egregious sense, declared a conflict that was totally unnecessary, and most damaging to the United States stature in the world.

    Rice’s temperment is hardly suited to running the Farm. She is very obstinate, and has demonstrated a “locked-in” thought process that hardly seems suitable as an aptitude for an institution like Stanford. The word out there is Rice’s tenure at Stanford was solely designed to “repair her brand” so she could go back out into government or another corporate or Non-Governmental Agency head management position.

    So, even if she was offered th eAD position, you know she would jump at the first opportunity to move into political lifeonce again. Stanford’s athletic program really needs stability and class leadership without all of the attendent distreactions a Condi Rice management spot would bring.

    No, she is not my favorite political figure of the period 2000-2008. And I strongly feel she ought not be rewarded for behavior that left our nation worse off for some very bad choices.