Beebe promoted, succeeds Weiberg as Big 12 commish

DALLAS -- The Big 12 Conference named Dan Beebe as its new commissioner Wednesday, nearly two months after he took the job in an interim role.

The former Ohio Valley Conference commissioner has been acting as commissioner since July, after Kevin Weiberg stepped down to take a job with the Big 10 Network.

Weiberg held the post for nine years.

Beebe, who had been the Big 12's chief operating officer since 2003, agreed to a five-year contract. Terms were not immediately released.

"I will bring my experience as a conference leader ... in taking the Big 12 to the next level of success as from a competitive and financial standpoint," Beebe said.

"We were impressed by his experience, his talents and his
vision about how to take this conference to the next level," said
Harvey Perlman, the Big 12 board chairman and University of
Nebraska chancellor.

Beebe has also spent the last four years as the Big 12's senior associate commissioner. He served 14 years at the helm of the Ohio Valley Conference.

In a phone interview with ESPN's Joe Schad prior to his introductory news conference, Beebe discussed recent Big 12 rules violations in football, including at Oklahoma and Texas, and said they are not indicative of a conference-wide isssue.

"My hope is these are anomolies and not a part of any widespread or elaborate schemes," Beebe said. "It can't be perfect. And the coaches are in the best position to stop these things.

"In the two situations you bring up, people outside the athletic departments provided extra benefits. These are the instances that keep us awake at night. We need and will have a clear message that extra benefits will not be allowed in this conference."

Beebe said he would not specifically address the conference's plan in terms of revenue sharing, which has been a hot topic among lower revenue schools who receive less money due to fewer television appearances.

The Big 12 generated $106 million in revenue in 2006-07. By comparison, the SEC split $122 million among 12 member schools.

"We do share the lion's share of our revenue equally," Beebe said. "There are portions we don't share equally, and to that extent, we'll have discussions."

Beebe said one of his challenges will be keeping the conference on the technological edge of the way fans consume entertainment and keep track of their teams. He wouldn't say the Big 12 was
inevitably headed toward its own network but left the door open.

"It will be interesting to see how other conferences do," Beebe said. "I think the jury's still out on what's going to take place."

Steve Hatchell was the Big 12's first commissioner, serving two years after the league began competition in 1996. Dave Martin served in an interim role until Weiberg was hired.

Five Big 12 teams have played in the Bowl Championship Series title game, more than any other conference.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad was used in this report.