Big 12 needs a strong leader
Kevin Weiberg was a weak commissioner for the Big 12 Conference, as any OU fan can tell you.
The Lubbock fiasco, the Longar Longar suspension. The Sooners certainly had no great reason to consider Weiberg a comrade. But Weiberg’s shortcomings were much deeper than that.
His style of leadership — low key, behind the scenes — did not best serve a league that sometimes is the same. The Big 12 is a big boy on the collegiate sports scene, but is usually trailing the SEC and the Big Ten in terms of power and status, and with the expanded ACC, the Rose Bowl clout of the Pac-10 and the East Coast-press advantage of the Big East, the Big 12 was at times marginalized in terms of bowls and television and even powerful NCAA committees.
That’s partly Weiberg’s fault. But it’s partly the Big 12’s fault.
The Big 12 has not given its commissioners autonomy to guide the league. It has not given its leader the power to direct the conference through the rough waters of collegiate sports.
The league has not wanted a visionary, it has wanted a caretaker. It has not wanted a commissioner who grabs people, internally and externally, by the collar and gets things done. The league has wanted a commissioner who follows orders.
That has been a mistake. The Big 12 has been a follower, not a leader.
That must change with Weiberg’s departure. The league presidents must recognize that the Big 12 needs a commissioner who wields a big stick.
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