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Neinas to start rebuilding Big 12 in October

chuck neinas

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.”

Yes. Yes, they can.

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.

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10 Responses to “Neinas to start rebuilding Big 12 in October”
  1. southernpatriots says: Sep 23, 2011 9:30 PM

    Neinas said he was hired to be the commissioner and would act as the commissioner. That would indicate not only leadership but strength. He apparently will try to mend fences that he did not damage. If his attempts at mild negotiation does not work, we are sure he is able to bring some pressure to bear.

    Neinas is who the Big 12 needs. If anyone is to get the hurt feelings, and other slights that some members feel and work out equal revenue sharing, it is probably Neinas. Much is expected of him. He will probably deliver much, if the school presidents will allow him.

    It is not a good start that the presidents cannot even agree upon what they discussed yesterday. Maybe Neinas needs to record all meetings and quickly the next day send by special messenger/carrier a CD of the conference call with a transcript for all presidents to review to remind them what they discussed and to which they agreed.

    We certainly wish Neinas well. He has his work cut out for him with a chaotic conference that was imploding and has been weakened by discord.

  2. Deb says: Sep 23, 2011 10:22 PM

    Neinas is going to need a lot of faith, hope, and pixie dust to make this baby fly again. And they’ll need more than a six-year committment to revenue-sharing if they plan to make the Big 9 attractive to newcomers. But I honestly don’t see why he’d waste time touring A&M. They’re gone, whether Baylor likes it or not.

  3. wustlgrad says: Sep 23, 2011 10:42 PM

    The big 12 is utter RUBBISH! Please let it die. OU & Mizzou should plan on defecting to the SEC.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Sep 23, 2011 10:54 PM

    Nobody in their right mind would want this job. Dealing with these prima donna AD’s and Presidents that are ALL only interested in their own pocketbooks is going to be a nightmare. Lots of Luck.

  5. phelbin says: Sep 23, 2011 11:33 PM

    I’m with Feisty on this one. This is like taking over as CEO for a company after the old CEO was forced out in disgrace and the company is entering chapter 11. It’s a big challenge, there will be a lot of headaches and frustration along the way.

  6. gorilladunk says: Sep 24, 2011 8:59 AM

    @phelbin…you mean like Lee Iacocca at Chrysler in the late 70’s or Ed Whitacre at GM a couple of year’s back? Things turned out okay for those guys ($$$$) and the companies they took over are still moving forward.

  7. phelbin says: Sep 24, 2011 12:00 PM

    Gorilladunk, you’re absolutely right. It’s not impossible, but for every Lee Iacocca there are a hundred guys who tried to turn a company around and it didn’t work. Turning the Big12 around will require every bit of ability Neinas has as a commissioner, but they’ll also need quite a bit of luck. Sometimes things just fall the opposite way and no amount of business experience or negotiation skills can change it.

  8. cosanostra71 says: Sep 24, 2011 12:11 PM

    its possible to save the conference but it is going to take a charismatic person who is able to manage egos. I hope it happens. I think superconferences is just the NCAA’s attempt at continuing to avoid a playoff.

  9. freidasboss says: Sep 24, 2011 1:00 PM

    Your comparisons are hilarious.

    I think I agree with every comment written. This guy has his work cutt out for him. Good luck.

  10. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2011 1:51 PM

    cosanostra71: Thanks for your concerns. However, the NCAA is not pushing superconferences. In fact, the NCAA has said it would rather not have them. The superconferences are being pushed by MONEY. TV contracts-BIG MONEY. With many athletic programs needing more money due to higher costs of travel, and other expenses and receiving less financial support from their boosters and/or states, these schools wish to band togther to negotiate for larger tv contracts (and from their perspective, share equally in the revenue).

    The superconferences, if they have a method of determining their conference champion like a championship game between the winners of their divisions (or PODs) and they end up with one or two champions of the entire superconference. Those winners can play against champions of other superconferences to determine one winner of this playoff system, using the major BCS bowls as the semi finals, and one rotating bowl as the championship game, similarly as it is done now.

    That is an oversimplified way that the superconferences can lead to a playoff system, and possibly the member schools can discard the NCAA and BCS. That has been suggested by those who have put much more thought into it and are MUCH more knowledgeable and learned in these things than are we.

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