Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has resigned from his position, effective immediately, a source close to the situation confirmed today. Beebe is expected to be replaced on an interim basis by Chuck Neinas, 79, a former Big Eight commissioner (1971-80) who served as executive director of the College Football Association from 1980-1997.
Neinas told the Associated Press this morning that he had been approached about the opportunity, was interested in the position and his situation would be an agenda item on today’s conference call with Big 12 presidents.
The Big 12 has scheduled a 6:45 p.m. news conference to offer an update in regard to changes within the league based on actions taken during the conference call.
One possible change is strong consideration of TCU as an expansion member, said a league source. Beebe had stressed that the Big 12, under his direction, was interested only in expanding into TV markets outside the current league footprint. In other words: No more Texas-based teams because the league already was well-served with Texas-based members.
But with Beebe’s departure, momentum seems to be building for TCU to at least be under consideration for Big 12 membership. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, a member of the league’s expansion committee, said Wednesday that league officials had begun preliminary talks with Brigham Young as an expansion candidate.
There has been some concern from Big 12 members about BYU’s unwillingness to compete in Sunday sporting events. Other expansion possible candidates for the Big 12 include Louisville, Cincinnati and West Virginia.
_ Jimmy Burch