During a period of great change in intercollegiate athletics the last couple of years, it has become apparent that commissioners Mike Slive (SEC), Jim Delany (Big Ten) and Larry Scott (Pac-12) have been major powerbrokers.Bob Bowlsby is joining that group in his role as Big 12 Commissioner. During his time as a university Athletics Director, Bowlsby worked alongside both Delany and Scott. To say Bowlsby wasn’t observing their actions would underestimate the visionary approach of the soon-to-be Big 12 commissioner. Delany has a legal background and worked in the rules compliance area of the NCAA earlier in his career. Scott, a former pro tennis player, climbed the administrative ranks of the Women’s Tennis Association before joining the Pac-12. Slive also worked in NCAA compliance and is the only one of the three with campus A.D. experience (albeit just two years at Cornell). Bowlsby has a college athletics administrative background. His recent track record is six years at Stanford, the most successful total sports program in the nation. No one has married athletics excellence with academic prowess better than the Cardinal. “Having had campus experience recently causes me to look at issues differently than Larry or Jim or Mike,” Bowlsby said recently. “I think that may allow me to be a productive contributor to discussions (about the future landscape of college athletics) going forward.” There is no question that a keen understanding of athletics and its place on campus will be valuable as the Big 12 charts its future. Bowlsby has been in the trenches and that perspective should be a huge asset as the landscape of college athletics continues to shift.
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