Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is believed to be on the short list to become the first Football Bowl Association executive director.
Previously, the FBA had been a low-profile, non-profit promotional organization for the 35 FBS bowls. The move to add an executive director suggests the group wants to increase its voice – especially the NCAA. Others believed to be getting consideration are former Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters, former Southern Miss AD Richard Gianinni and former NCAA executive Greg Shaheen. It is not clear if there is a favorite after the FBA announced the search on Thursday.
The FBA posted a release announcing a search for the first-ever position. The job was created to solidify the bowls' position as the postseason landscape changes. Commissioners are still deciding if and what bowls would be involved in the FBS playoff beginning after the 2014 season.
Other bowls were upset at an NCAA task force's decision to control bowl sponsorships. The NCAA board of directors approved oversight of the sponsorships last month.
According to the release, the new executive director “must demonstrate the highest level of integrity and professionalism and have a proven successful history in this industry …”
Beebe was Big 12 commissioner from 2007-2011 before being run out by league presidents in September. Prior to that he was the longtime Ohio Valley commissioner and an NCAA enforcement officer. Gianinni is a long-time, respected administrator. Shaheen recently lost his job at the NCAA. He had been directing the NCAA basketball tournament for the past 12 years.
FBA chairman Steve Hogan: “We have reached a point in the maturation of our association that engaging an individual to serve as our first executive director – someone with extensive experience in athletics administration and capable of communicating with the stakeholders throughout collegiate athletics, will be one of the more important things we can accomplish this summer.”
Applications close May 23.