Senior Columnist

Big East shows interest in Pac-12 deputy commissioner, down to five finalists

Pac-12 deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg was approached by the Big East for its commissioner opening but is not believed to be among the conference's finalists has learned.

The Big East has narrowed its list of finalist to five, according to interim commissioner Joe Bailey, but the list has been a well-guarded secret. Weiberg, a quarter-century veteran of sports administration, was approached by the Big East's search firm and spoke to Bailey but was not contacted again.

Names believed to be in the mix at one time are noted media consultant Chris Bevilacqua, Big East senior associate commissioner Nick Carparelli and Big East associate commissioner Tom Odjakjian. The new commissioner could be selected by the end of the month.

The conference is known to be targeting an out-of-the-box candidate similar to the Pac-12's Larry Scott. Weiberg would have fit the description. He had two stays with the Big Ten (1989-1998, 2007-2009) that included work with the highly-successful Big Ten Network.

After becoming Big 12 commissioner (1998-2007), Weiberg, 55, pitched the idea of a network to that league's officials but was shot down. Shortly thereafter, Weiberg returned to the Big Ten as vice president of university planning for BTN.

His current duties with the Pac-12 include chief operating officer, enforcement, compliance, officiating and TV administration.

In 2011, Weiberg's name surfaced in the Fiesta Bowl's search for a new executive director. Carparelli and then-WAC commissioner Karl Benson had expressed interest in the job that eventually went to Arizona president Robert Shelton.

The Big East is at a key point in its history with the coming playoff in 2014 having been impacted by conference realignment. ESPN has an exclusive negotiating period for the next Big East TV contract beginning Sept. 1.

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