With the announcement Wednesday night that the Pac-12 Conference is officially looking to replace commissioner Larry Scott, naturally the question becomes who that replacement might be.
Numerous national pundits have begun offering names as people who could potentially replace Scott. Here’s a rundown of some of those names.
- In a list of “obvious” potential candidates, The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna included Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, sports executive Oliver Luck, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne and Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir.
Among “names to watch,” Fortuna listed West Coast Conference commissioner Gloria Nevarez, ESPN executive Burke Magnus, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich and Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson.
In a list of “dark horses,” Fortuna listed Condoleezza Rice, NFL executive Damani Leech and UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond.
- Pac-12 insider Jon Wilner called Luck “an obvious option” while also floating the idea of Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby moving conferences. He also gave credence to potential candidacies of Smith, Byrne and Nevarez.
- ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg also floated Smith, Muir, Luck, Byrne and Anderson as potential candidates, then added that Nevarez, “seems like a strong candidate for the Pac-12” since she’s “worked at the league and handled basketball tournaments, oversaw compliance at Cal, worked under Joe Castiglione at Oklahoma.”
The more I study West Coast Conference commissioner Gloria Nevarez's background, the more she seems like a strong candidate for the Pac-12. Worked at the league and handled basketball tournaments, oversaw compliance at Cal, worked under Joe Castiglione at Oklahoma.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 21, 2021
- Multiple observers, including Rittenberg and Wilner, have indicated that candidates who have worked at one of the league’s schools should be highly considered. Echoing that, The Oregonian columnist John Canzano wrote Thursday, “You can outsource the media-rights negotiations to an agency, but what the Pac-12 can never again do is lose connection with its campuses.” Canzano also added on Twitter that the first people he’d look to talk to about the opening are Nevarez and Byrne.