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Bowlsby says he won’t be puppet for Texas, Oklahoma

Bob Bowlsby AP

It didn’t take long for the Big 12 to confirm what was reported earlier in the week. Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby was taking the Big 12 commissioner’s job.

Bowlsby replaces Dan Beebe* who was fired last fall following the second straight year of near-annihilation as Texas A&M and Missouri left to join the SEC. Former Big 8 commissioner Chuck Neinas had been serving on an interim basis.

Speaking at his introductory presser today, Bowlsby said he was initially skeptical of taking the job because of the conference’s stability baggage. But apparently after talking to officials from the University of Texas, the long-time AD came around.

Bowlsby added that his reconsideration isn’t to be confused with playing favorites.

I haven’t been very good at being a puppet,” said Bowlsby. “I have found (AD Deloss Dodds and president Bill Powers) to be very thoughtful and 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-pound gorilla in college athletics and that isn’t going to change.”

Beebe was accused of catering to Texas when the conference began showing signs of instability. Last year, Oklahoma reportedly listed two conditions that would keep the Sooners open to staying in the Big 12: make Texas tweak some details of the Longhorn Network, and force Beebe to resign.

Bowlsby is a great hire for the Big 12, and by all accounts had a good first press conference, but pardon anyone for being a bit skeptical about promises of equality; we’re talking about some big egos here.

If Bowlsby can bring home the new TV deal the conference is working on and extend the grant of rights well beyond six years, rest assured the perception of the Big 12 will increase dramatically. Only then will Bowlsby’s promise have real merit.

(* As Mark Ennis of The Big East Coast Bias points out, Bob Bowlsby’s initials are BB. BB. Beebe. #mindblown) 

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12 Responses to “Bowlsby says he won’t be puppet for Texas, Oklahoma”
  1. bobulated says: May 4, 2012 5:53 PM

    Whatever you say Kermit.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: May 4, 2012 6:00 PM

    The best line in the article Ben authored above: “Bowlsby is a great hire for the Big 12, and by all accounts had a good first press conference, but pardon anyone for being a bit skeptical about promises of equality; we’re talking about some big egos here.”

    I have colleagues and co-workers who are Texas alums and others who are Sooners. They get along very well until the meeting each fall between the two and then it is a little edgy for a few days or so. If the major two will truly work to bring some equity as well as equality, Bowlsby can strengthen the Big 12 and give it long term stability.

  3. normtide says: May 4, 2012 6:09 PM

    Maybe he sees that equality is the only way it works. In the SEC, Bama-LSU-UF have 2 BCS titles each, but Vandy-MState-UK have the same power and standing as “the big three”. They also get the same league money. Vandy has gotten 1/12th of BCS Title money for the last six years, and 8 years total. I guess it is easier for us, southern people have always stood togethor (hence the no exit fee for the SEC). We are much stronger togethor then any of us are apart, or any select group of us. Best of luck to the 12.

  4. arizonahusker says: May 4, 2012 6:12 PM

    You will be a puppet. Just get used to it.

  5. drummerhoff says: May 4, 2012 8:42 PM

    Whatever … a 13 year TV deal w/ equal revenue changes that whole dynamic.

    What is more interesting was Oliver Luck’s comment after returning from Big 12 meeting in Phoenix:

    “It went well,” Luck said. “What’s kind of interesting is there were also those from the Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten there. So there were chances to visit with other ADs.”

    How come the ACC wasn’t there?

  6. poison66 says: May 4, 2012 8:46 PM

    Oklahoma State is getting to the point of dominating this conference for awhile…..

  7. thefiesty1 says: May 4, 2012 11:08 PM

    Good luck with that. The AD’s at Texas and Oklahoma seem to have a one track mind. Like they are the most important and the others don’t count.

  8. kcrobert10 says: May 5, 2012 12:51 AM

    As a mizzou fan I’m still happy to be in the sec. Good luck to the big 12 I know the optimism is u will soon be back to 12 but the realty is no body will replace the 4 teams u chased out. Tcu is going to find life a lot harder in that conf same with wv who effectively cut off from Fla where there talent comes from. Mizzou gets a boost by finally being able to get players from stl and were still tied to Texas thruogh a&m. So I belive happy days are ahead.

  9. jimbo75025 says: May 5, 2012 1:57 AM

    normtide says:May 4, 2012 6:09 PM

    Maybe he sees that equality is the only way it works. In the SEC, Bama-LSU-UF have 2 BCS titles each, but Vandy-MState-UK have the same power and standing as “the big three”. They also get the same league money. Vandy has gotten 1/12th of BCS Title money for the last six years, and 8 years total. I guess it is easier for us, southern people have always stood togethor (hence the no exit fee for the SEC). We are much stronger togethor then any of us are apart, or any select group of us. Best of luck to the 12

    _______________

    While some of your points are questionable, I agree no AD in his right mind would want to leave the SEC. Simply too much TV exposure ($) involved and no conference could offer a sweeter deal.

    Your point of standing together also has some merit as while I may loathe UF (or Bama, etc) – if they were playing for the NC against a non SEC team I would still be rooting for them-just a pride thing of knowing the conference my team plays in is the top dog.

  10. thelongstar says: May 5, 2012 7:32 AM

    To the Mizzou fan: I believe I speak for everyone in the Big 12 when I say thank you for leaving. Now you can take your whiny, inflated sense of self-worth and second tier athletics program somewhere else.

  11. normtide says: May 5, 2012 12:44 PM

    Thelongstar sounds like a jilted ex girlfriend

  12. pandebailey says: May 5, 2012 4:48 PM

    Big “egos” are involved? Its not plural – its Texas that’s the problem, period.

    Nebraska existed for decades with OU without a problem – put Texans in the mix and you can forget it. UT is just impossible and everybody is happier being far away from that clan.

    And “puppet” is too tame a word – “robot” is more like it, or “servant”. Bowlsby will be just like Beebe, anything the Longhorns want, he’ll hand over. Have fun Big 12.

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