The Times West Virginian

Sports

July 23, 2013

Big 12 Media Day takeaways

MORGANTOWN — Commissioner Bob Bowlsby dominated the opening day of Big 12 Media Day with his talk about reform within the NCAA to allow the power conferences to be in a position where they can get through legislation that benefits them, but he made a number of other points in his State of the Conference address that are recapped here:

• Realignment

“I’ve been here in the building about 30 minutes, and I haven’t had a realignment question yet, which is the first time that’s happened in the entire time I’ve been here. I really am looking forward to 2013-14, and then especially to ’14 and ’15 as we get into some of the new ventures that we’re going to be working on.

“In the case of the Big 12, we take a huge jump between ’13-14 and ’14-15 in our distributable revenue as some of our big contracts kick in. At the end of ’14-15, we get to full and equal sharing with our new members and current members (meaning West Virginia and TCU), and it really will complete the transition that has been in place over the last 18 months or so.”

• Expansion

“As we said before, we’re intentionally at 10 members. We think there are advantages at 10. Among those advantages are the strength of playing three nonconference games instead of four and having a full conference round-robin. I think it keeps rivalries strong. I think it keeps our multimedia packages strong to have good competition every day, every Saturday.

“From a revenue sharing standpoint, I think over a long period of time we will have a smaller pie to divide but the slices will be larger. We certainly like that on behalf of our members.

“I think the other thing is we don’t have any divisional play, and divisional, by its very title, has some divisive elements to it, and there’s fractionalization that comes with that.

“I think the debate about larger being better is still raging, but the realignment battles have really settled down, and I think in the near term to midterm, perhaps even a little longer, I think you’ll see a period of relative calm. I think that’s a good thing.”

• In-game video highlights from other games

“We will be bringing in-game highlights on a taped and live basis into our stadiums this year. This is largely a response to declining attendance on a national basis. Our schools are 85 percent full. We’ve got many that are experiencing hard sell-outs every game. We feel like our attendance has remained relatively strong.”

• An eighth official in use in the Big 12 to make games faster

“(One) thing that we’re doing that is going to be an interesting experiment is that of the eighth official. We have experimented with it in the spring. We’ve even experimented using an eighth official with a helmet cam to see what the vantage point is and how it might be helpful. This official will be on the offensive side of the ball in the backfield, roughly the equivalent location but opposite the referee.

“This will be the person who places the ball in play. So you recall formerly the umpire was doing that from within the area behind the defensive line. This year that will be undertaken by the eighth official. This is really in response to pace of play as much as anything. We’re excited we’ll be the only league experimenting with the eighth official.”

• RF chips in shoulder pads

“Another thing that we’re doing in the way of innovation this year is all of our teams will have an RF chip embedded in their shoulder pads. And this will allow — this is a partnership with an organization called Sportvision. It will allow us to track players, their velocity, their path around the football stadium on a real-time basis.

“To be quite frank about it, we’re not sure what we will do with the technology or what Sportvision will do with the technology, but we think it’s a very interesting innovation that developments in other areas outside of sports have accommodated. So our guys will all have RF chips in, and it ought to be interesting to see how it evolves.”

• Concussion research and prevention

“We have undertaken a very significant concussion research and prevention program that we think is altogether appropriate. We are working on a partnership with USA Football, which is an NFL undertaking that is intended to teach young people to play the game properly and to play it safely.

“The initiative is called Heads Up Football, and there is a link to it on our website if you want to get to the Heads Up Football link. But player safety is a very important element of what we’re doing. The commissioners collectively actually took the initiative and sent directives to the rules committee that we wanted progress made on both concussive head injuries and the cumulative effect of repetitive blows to the head.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Return to Mountain State exciting for new sports writer

    When I packed my belongings out of my Morgantown apartment in May, fresh with a journalism degree from West Virginia University, I thought I had ended a chapter of my life and closed the book on my experience inside the great Mountain State forever.
    It wasn’t until I received a phone call back in my hometown of Canton, Ohio, from the Times West Virginian that the idea of a return to the area became a possibility. The opportunity to begin my professional career in an area that I’ve become comfortable with for the past several years was too good to pass by.

    July 29, 2014

  • Black Diamond.jpg Black Diamond Express looking to add elite players

     Travel sports are said to be the cream of the crop for young athletes.
    Generally, youth are selected to play on travel league teams based upon a heightened skill level or an ability that exceeds the everyday athlete.
    That’s what the Black Diamond Express softball team in Morgantown is looking for, along with a few new elite players.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers’ Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 28, 2014

  • All tickets claimed for LeBron’s homecoming show

    LeBron James’ Ohio hometown says fans quickly claimed the thousands of tickets available for the homecoming event expected to be his first public appearance in the state since announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    July 28, 2014

  • FSU to hold Falcon Fantasy Camp

    Ever want to be a college football coach? Now you’ll have your chance thanks to Fairmont State University’s Falcon Fantasy Camp.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lawyer: Wife plotted to take over Sterling trust

    A lawyer argued Monday that the estranged wife of Donald Sterling plotted to strip his client from the family trust that owned the Los Angeles Clippers after the head of the NBA said she couldn’t negotiate a sale of the franchise unless she owned all the shares.

    July 28, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • Steelers’ Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG Post 17 falls short in Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.
    Post 17 Fairmont is hoping that they’ve now gotten all of its bad games out of the way, falling to Post 2 Morgantown, 10-0, via a 7th inning mercy rule, crowning Morgantown Area II American Legion champions.
    After playing 18 innings the night before, Fairmont couldn’t seem to get anything going at East Fairmont High School Sunday afternoon.
    As rain clouds loomed over the field, so, too, did one settle in over Post 17’s offense, Fairmont collecting just four hits the entire game.
    “Definitely not one of our better games as a team,” Fairmont’s Austin Norman said of his team’s performance. “We’ll come up tomorrow, hit and get on the same page.”

    July 28, 2014 7 Photos

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos