Inside Texas Blog: Blackwell for Commissioner

Inside Texas Magazine editor Mike Blackwell lays out his case for being named the Big 12's new Commissioner now that Kevin Weiberg has stepped down, including everything that needs to change in the conference. Right now.

Kevin Weiberg has decided to give up his gig as Big 12 commissioner to become vice president of the Big Ten's start-up television network. His salary will be cut in half, but so will his headaches.

Clearly Weiberg was ready for a "new challenge" that would mean less time listening to whiny coaches complain about referees, marketing efforts, the lack of marketing efforts, negative recruiting, instant replay, referees, all-conference voting, big-school favoritism, budget inequities, gender inequities, the fact that Tuesday comes before Wednesday each week and, of course, referees.

I'd like to toss my name onto the "short list" of possible replacements for Weiberg, and if the league decides against hiring me, I'd at least like to pass along a few suggestions to the poor sap who gets to sit rather uncomfortably into Weiberg's hotseat. Weiberg made $500,000 a year as commissioner, and I'll gladly accept half that amount, saving the league about what it costs to host the conference meeting/golf tournament each year in Colorado Springs.

Before the league dismisses me as a serious candidate, I'd like to present these proposals for consideration:

*Big 12 Championship game – As commissioner, my first act will be to get rid of this nonsense. Nothing positive comes from this game, other than stuffing a few more dollars into each school's pockets. If you're in the top five in the country entering this game and you lose or even play poorly, you've cost the league a chance to play in a national championship game. If you don't accept my proposal to drop the game entirely, then make this game winner take all: the winning school gets all the proceeds. Never again will we allow Iowa State, Baylor and others to profit from a game in which they will never play.

*Hire an Ambassador to Oklahoma – We'll set up a permanent office in Norman, sharing a cubicle with Barry Switzer, so that we can have direct contact with all things Sooner. We'll hang out at local car dealerships, and we'll monitor phone calls to recruits daily. Any student-athlete wishing to test drive a Lexus must return the car within a span of 24 hours, and must pass the same credit check subjected to those of us who cannot run a 4.39 40-yard dash. The Ambassador to Oklahoma will report directly to the commissioner's office each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

*Hire a ‘focus coach' at A&M – Texas A&M's football program will be required to hire a ‘focus coach.' This coach's main duty will be to ensure that all Aggie football players, coaches and fans (especially the fans) are aware of the fact that games are scheduled each year both before and after the game against the University of Texas, and that those games actually count when compiling the final won-lost tally. This coach will be especially valuable to the program every eight years or so when the Aggies beat the Longhorns on the football field.

*Hawk training – Colorado coach Dan Hawkins will be required to lead fellow league football coaches in a two-day seminar titled, "Embrace the Meltdown." Last year a parent wrote him a letter complaining about the lack of time off for players, and he flipped out, screaming, "It's the Big 12!" and adding, "Go play intramurals, brother!" This classic outburst should be duplicated by all coaches as often as possible, and Hawkins deserves a chance to share his passion with the other coaches in the league. Each coach will be required to "role play" with a mock press conference meltdown at the end of the seminar. Each coach will then be required to orchestrate at least one meltdown during the actual season, or be subjected to fines and possible suspension.

*Television – Please change the current television agreement with ABC, ESPN, FSN, VERSUS, ESPN2, ESPN-U and TBS and whomever else. I'm tired of trying to find TBS each year when Texas plays Oklahoma State. Create a Big 12 channel so fans will know exactly where to tune when they want to see a ballgame. The only time I want to watch TBS is when I have a hankering for the colorized Wizard of Oz.

I look forward to meeting you for an interview at your earliest convenience.

What do you think?

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