Well, try to, anyway.
And seeing as certain members of the Big 12 can’t even seem to agree on exactly what they discussed yesterday in their road-to-stability teleconference — foreshadow alert! — Chuck Neinas is going to have his work cut out for him.
Good thing he’s taking a temporary approach to the whole situation; six years of equal revenue sharing (well, maybe) doesn’t entirely signal commitment.
“I am not a candidate in any way, shape or form on a permanent basis,” Neinas, who starts officially on Oct. 3, said during a press conference today. “If they’ve hired me to be the commissioner, I’ll act like the commissioner.
“They can always fire me.”
But Neinas’ press conference wasn’t a eulogy. After spending many years as a consultant to conference commissioners — he will continue to work on a job with the Mountain West and Conference USA through the rest of the year– Neinas brings a similar philosophy to what is easily the “Jersey Shore” of college football conferences (the Big East is “16 and Pregnant”).
That requires getting to know your client.
The former Big 8 commissioner said he plans on meeting with Big 12 AD’s next week in Dallas followed by a tour of all the campuses. Yes, that includes Texas A&M.
And then being brutally honest about what you see and what you recommend.
In other words, not this.
“I think the Aggies are probably going to go and Missouri is going to stay,” said Neinas, but added “You have to be concerned about [Missouri leaving].”
Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton is the chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors, which would certainly put Mizzou in an awkward spot were they to try and bolt for the SEC. Rumors have swirled that back channel discussions have taken place between the two sides, although the SEC has denied any such involvement.
Regardless of what the SEC says, though, Mizzou looks to be non-committal about their future in the Big 12. And who could blame them?
Three programs leave, or prepare to leave, in two years; a pair of eleventh hour saves.
I’d be out for sure.
That’s where Neinas needs to work his magic. If the Big 12 stays together, it looks as though it will be as 10 members who share their revenue equally. The keyword, of course, is “if”.
Interim might be just long enough for Neinas.