Report: Big 12's Dan Beebe on way out

Updated: September 22, 2011, 2:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Big 12 Conference commissioner Dan Beebe is working on an agreement to leave his position, the Kansas City Star reported Wednesday night.

The Star cited two sources with knowledge of Beebe's decision.

The Oklahoman reported Tuesday that the University of Oklahoma would commit to staying in the Big 12 only if the conference ousted Beebe and added regulations on ESPN's Longhorn Network.

Beebe was one of five BCS commissioners absent from the Collegiate Commissioner Association meetings Wednesday in Chicago, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

The only BCS conference commissioner in attendance was Jim Delany of the Big Ten -- the only BCS conference not dealing with expansion.

The source said the CCA expects Beebe to leave his position, and former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas to replace him.

Neinas told The Associated Press Thursday morning that he had not yet been retained. "If that happened, it would happen at the end of the day," he said.

Neinas has told the Big 12 he would accept the position of interim commissioner if, as expected, the Big 12 presidents offer him the job, a source close to Neinas told ESPN's Joe Schad.

Neinas runs a consulting firm and has worked with 10 of the original members of the Big 12.

"I feel for what is happening to Dan and to John Marinatto in the Big East," said Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson, whose league has lost multiple teams to the Mountain West and in 1998 was commissioner when the 16-team league split.

Benson said he has called for a halt to expansion until after Jan. 15 to allow the various conferences' focus to return to the playing fields.

"There is no rush to do more at this point," Benson said. "These conferences can take their time."

A teleconference among the school presidents was set for Thursday to discuss how to secure long-term calm in the Big 12, sources told Schad.

"The Big 12 is moving toward stabilization," one Big 12 athletic director told ESPN Wednesday afternoon.

TCU, however, is being mentioned as a possible Big 12 addition, a source told Schad, even though the Horned Frogs are scheduled to join the Big East in 2012.

And in addition to Texas not likely to be in favor of such an addition, one source said TCU likely would be bound by the same restrictions Marinatto is planning to apply to departing Syracuse and Pittsburgh -- a 27-month waiting period and a $5 million exit fee.

The teleconference and the league board of directors' planned meeting comes after the Pac-12 decided against expansion Tuesday night.

Beebe received a raise from $661,000 to $997,000 in 2009 before the Big 12's first near-breakup, when Colorado joined the Pac-12 and Nebraska left for the Big Ten. Beebe's contract was extended in November through June 2015.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz, ESPN reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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