The Big 12 Conference is reportedly close to hiring its new commissioner.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde, the Big 12 is finalizing a deal that would make Brett Yormark, currently the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the conference’s new leader.

Yormark would be the successor to long time Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the fifth Big 12 commissioner all-time.

He would also be the latest conference commissioner with somewhat of an unconventional background, similar to Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, who was formerly a sports entertainment executive for MGM Resorts.

Per Dellenger and Forde, Yormark is considered “one of the more connected and bright executives within the entertainment agency industry.”

Despite having little to no experience with college athletics, Yormark’s work with ROC Nation could be “especially beneficial in an ever-changing college sports landscape that entered a new phase last July with the lifting of the NCAA’s amateurism rules,” wrote Dellenger and Forde.

“The era of name, image and likeness (NIL) has brought legalized athlete pay, agent involvement and player branding never before seen in college sports.”

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Yormark has a wealth of experience with sports, although it is limited to professional basketball and stock car racing.

Prior to joining ROC Nation in 2019, Yormark spent 14 years as the CEO of BSE Global, which manages the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, their home arena.

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Before that, Yormark worked with NASCAR for six years.

Yormark will be tasked with shepherding the Big 12 into a new era of expansion — BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are slated to join the conference next year — and then retraction — Texas and Oklahoma are currently expected to join the SEC in 2025.

Negotiating exit timing and potential exit fees for the Longhorns and Sooners could be a major issue early on for Yormark, Dellenger and Forde noted, and he will be front and center when the league renegotiates its media rights deal, which expires after the 2024-25 season.

Per Dellenger and Forde, the Big 12 commissioner job was “highly sought after,” but in the last two days, a group of Big 12 presidents interviewed three finalists, none of whom work in college athletics.

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