End of the Era of Beebe?

22 Sep

With the mess that has been conference realignment, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe has come under fire from many directions. Now, the Kansas City Star has reported that the league is looking to buy out his contract, and the paper also received confirmation from former Big Eight Conference commissioner Chuck Neinas that the league had contacted him about possibly becoming the new commissioner.

In the past month, Texas A&M has declared its intention to leave the Big 12, preferably to go to the SEC. In summer 2010, the Big 12 lost Nebraska and Colorado. Most recently, there was talk of the Pac-12 coming in to sweep up the other Texas schools and the Oklahoma schools.

Obviously, there is some discontent in this group, and apparently Beebe could not figure out how to allay it. Long criticized for catering too much too the Longhorns, who had the largest revenue share of any team in the conference as well as their own TV network, Beebe did not do enough to pacify the other 11 schools in the conference.

What is sort of hysterically funny is retrospect is that from 2008 to 2009 – or, to put it in context, not long before the first hubbub about the Big 12 breakup began and ended with Nebraska and Colorado bolting – Beebe actually received a nearly 50% pay raise, from $661,000 to $997,000. Apparently, that put him on par with the other commissioners of automatic-big qualifying conferences.

Here’s another little nugget that is sadly funny, too, in light of the current situation. The following excerpt is from Beebe’s biography on big12sports.com:

“Entering his fifth year as the commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, Dan Beebe has the league poised to remain a leader on the national level, ushering in an era of strength, stability and commitment among the Conference’s 10 teams.”

If only they had known.

Now, though, hopefully the league can move forward, and Beebe can move out of the spotlight and enjoy his millions in peace. It’s a win-win situation.

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