Big 12

May 3, 2012

Stanford's Bob Bowlsby to lead the Big 12

Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby will become the new Big 12 commissioner according to, which cited sources.

Bowlsby served as athletic director at Iowa for 15 years before taking over at Stanford in 2006. He’s regarded as one of the top athletic administrators in college sports.

Officials from the Big 12, Pac-12 and other conferences have been attending meetings in Phoenix this week.

At the Big 12, Bowlsby steps into a conference that’s been at the heart of realignment over the past two years. The league has lost four schools _ Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M _ while gaining West Virginia and TCU. Among items on the Big 12 agenda: Finalizing a new first-tier television rights deal. In March, media outlets reported the Big 12 and current rights holder ESPN had reached a deal to continue the partnership through 2025.

But the deal isn’t done, sources close to the negotiations have told The Star.

At Stanford, Bowlsby worked with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott as that league created media deals that tripled existing fees. The conference also continues to discuss its membership, whether it should stay at 10 members or return to at least 12 and revive its conference football championship game. Proposed changes to college football’s postseason structure could have an impact on that decision.

| Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star

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