Potential Candidates To Replace Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott

Jan 21, 2021, 5:37 PM
Larry Scott - Pac-12 Commissioner...
PAC12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks to the media during PAC12 Media Days on July 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 is looking for a new commissioner to take over for Larry Scott and the committee has a nice list of potential candidates.

The potential candidates that could be in the mix for the job that Larry Scott held for 11 years, is experienced and qualified individuals. One of the potential candidates will try to rebuild what Larry Scott tore down. Whoever takes over the position on July 1 will be tasked with rebuilding the conference and returning it to it’s former glory.

Larry Scott will be stepping down as commissioner on June 30.

The next commissioner will be in charge of negotiating the next major television rights deal and will have to fix many things that Scott broke during his 11-years as the Pac-12 commissioner.

ESPN College Football Insider Adam Rittenberg reported some names being thrown out there for possible candidates.

Potential Candidate: Ohio State AD Gene Smith

Gene Smith has been around the block as an Athletic Director. He first became the AD at Eastern Michigan from 1986-93 before going to Iowa State for seven years. In 2000, he was the AD for Arizona State until 2005 before making the move to Ohio State.

Smith has been in the Pac-12 (Pac-10 back then) and has seen the competitive level this conference needs to be at. Now at Ohio State, Smith has a lot of experience running a high level athletic department. His experiences working with the Big Ten will make him a viable candidate.

Stanford AD Bernard Muir For Pac-12 Commissioner?

There are pros and cons to hiring a Pac-12 AD to be the next commissioner, especially in this situation. If you do hire a Pac-12 AD, it will be because they know what not to do because they will have seen what Larry Scott did over the last 11 years.

Muir was the deputy AD for Notre Dame from 2004-05 before becoming the director of athletics for Georgetown from 2005-09. He then went to be the AD at Deleware from 2009-12 before going to Stanford.

The Cardinal have been championship contenders in the Pac-12 and Muir will know what the conference needs to get back to prominence.

Former West Virginia AD Oliver Luck

Oliver Luck is a name to keep a close eye on. He has done a lot of different things and have done so at a high level. His son is former Stanford and Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck. Oliver was the general manager in Germany for a couple of years in the 1990s before becoming the President of NFL Europe for four years from 1996-00.

Luck then went on to be the CEO for Houston Sports Authority from 2001-05 before being the President and General Manager of the Houston Dynamo in MLS from 2005-10.

Then he was the Executive Vice President for regulatory affairs for the NCAA from 2014-18. That job stands out and provides great experience to be able to take over as Pac-12 commissioner. For two years, Luck was the commissioner and CEO of the XFL before the league folded.

Alabama AD Greg Byrne

Personally, this is a hire that intrigues me other than Oliver Luck is the Alabama AD. Byrne has been in the Pac-12 at Arizona from 2010-17 after spending three years at Mississippi State in his first job as AD. When Byrne was running the Wildcats athletic department, they were in contention for titles in both football and basketball.

Now going to Alabama has given him the experience of what a top notch athletic program looks like. The SEC is one of the most viewed conferences and Byrne could use that and be able to get a favorable media deal when that time comes.

Arizona State AD Ray Anderson

Anderson has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic from a conference standpoint. Whenever the Pac-12 held media Zoom calls with Larry Scott, Anderson would represent the AD’s on the calls.

Anderson has done a solid job at Arizona State with hiring Bobby Hurley for basketball and the bold hire of bringing in Herm Edwards, who hadn’t coached football for almost two decades.

West Coast Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez

Nevarez has done a tremendous job running the West Coast Conference. The only issue that might hurt her chances of getting the Pac-12 commissioner job is that the WCC doesn’t have football in their league. But with her time working in the conference before being the commissioner of the WCC will counter that.

She is the first Latin-American to become a commissioner of an NCAA Division I Conference. Oregon President Michael Schill said that the committee is looking for someone who “knows the conference.” Nevarez would qualify as knowing the conference. She graduated from University of California Berkeley School of Law. In 2010, she was named Senior Associate Commissioner and Senior Woman Administrator for the Pac-12.

She has experience in the league and would be a candidate to watch for in this process.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Potential Candidates To Replace Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott