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Big 12: Q&A with new league commissioner Bob Bowlsby

The Stanford athletic director will take over as Big 12 boss in June. Bowlsby received five-year contract.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 4, 2012

The Big 12 on Friday introduced Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby as the conference commissioner, effective in June. Bowlsby answered a variety of questions. Here are some excerpts:

Question: You received a five-year contract. How does that relate to Big 12 stability?

Bowlsby: “I wouldn't have come if I wasn't planning on staying more than five years. I expect to work another 10 years, and I expect to work another 10 years at the Big 12.”

Ten or 12? How do you stand on expansion?

“I think expansion is going to be an ongoing point of consideration for us. I haven't had the opportunity to talk with all the presidents about this issue, so I certainly am not going to presume a direction we will go.

“There's nothing magic about 11, 12 or 10. To the extent that we can do things that advance our agenda, we ought to at least consider that. But I come in with no preconceived notions as to what the right number is.”

At least two schools left the Big 12 because of Texas' perceived imbalance of power. Is there still an issue with the Longhorns?

“I think it's in the past. I've known (AD) DeLoss Dodds longer than either of us would care to admit. I have been very impressed with president (Bill) Powers. I think they're speaking with one voice. I have found them to be very thoughtful, very team-oriented in terms of how they view the issues. I asked some probing questions along those lines, because the University of Texas is always going to be an 800-poind gorilla in collegiate athletics. That isn't going to change. But I have been very impressed with the extent to which the folks at the University of Texas are committed to the conference and committed to the best outcomes, not only for them, but the other nine members.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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