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Kevin Warren Named Sixth B1G Commissinor (6/4/19)

Ive spent the last hour watching his intro, and his interview on BIG network..... WOW !!, we just got a very dynamic guy, a humble guy, and seemingly a great leader. Seems that the BIG got the absolutely best guy available
He comes across as a genuine, impressive man. I'm not sure how they would even define the ideal characteristics of a candidate for this job, but I hope that he does it well.
 
Here's what I've been thinking a lot about: Who does he turn to when he wants advice?

There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding among Husker fans and sports fans in general that the B1G exists primarily for sports; it doesn't; it exists primarily to enhance the images of the schools represented in the conference. No matter how jaded you may be about the "student" part of the "student + athlete" equation, that part still matters a lot to the universities that make up the B1G, and it specifically matters to the presidents. Did you all notice that it was a University of Indiana president (with an Australian accent?) who introduced Warren to the world as the new B1G commissioner? Think about that. Did you hear him say during the Q&A how the university presidents (who were the ones who ran the show, made the decision, etc.) wanted to be clear that B1G athletics consists of much more than just football and basketball? Why do you think he said that? Did you notice that no ADs were involved in the announcement? I doubt that any were involved in the process at all, apart from whatever input they gave (or were allowed to give) to their own university president.

The more I think about it, this hire could be the most significant in Nebraska's future, even above and beyond Moos or Frost or Hoiberg or whoever else you want to throw out there. Why? Because the college football landscape is shifting, and the B1G is in position to be one of the major players, if not THE major player in all that comes after now, but it will be the conference director's office that points us and leads us whichever way we will/should go. University presidents really don't know a lot about sports other than that those sports A) bring in a lot of money (and/or cost a lot of money, B) bring a lot of exposure and marketing for the universities, and C) can get you fired if you don't have the right people in place in the athletic department. Seriously, I don't think that most know a lot more about college sports than that, unless they happen to have participated in college sports at some level. They have to rely on others to advise them and help them make decisions. Who will those people be?

How will the playoffs expand, and when? The B1G commissioner could be/should be a driving force in that conversation. Should athletes be able to be paid royalties for the use of their image, etc.? The B1G commissioner could be/should be a driving force in that conversation. Should conferences expand? When? How? Who? How does/will that affect the playoffs, etc? You know the answer that I'm going to give. It is not an exaggeration to say that the B1G commissioner has an out-sized role in what college athletics is going to look like 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now, and that includes the role he would play if he is characterized by a lack of leadership. If he is a meek personality, it will mean that the other conferences will get to run the show. A strong B1G commissioner would and could get the PAC 12 commissioner to support him in insisting that Power 5 conferences need to either all play 9 conference football games or 8, but we can't have it both ways and have it be to our detriment. Baseball fans want another coach and more scholarships? Better hope that the B1G commissioner is pushing for it. Why would he? Who is his constituency?

When Jim Delaney took over as B1G commissioner in 1989, he immediately began the process of adding Penn State. That entire process took place--right up to and including the announcement that Penn State was joining the B1G--without the ADs even knowing that it was happening. Bo Schembechler was so angry over the whole thing that he resigned as AD at Michigan immediately afterward, saying that apparently his experience didn't matter enough to even be asked his opinion. THAT is how much the B1G is controlled by the university presidents. It hasn't really changed except that those presidents have since learned that they had better be in communication with their ADs and key alums before making those sorts of decisions ... but it's still the presidents that make those decisions.

Now here's why I'm concerned about who will be whispering in Warren's ear: Nebraska's future in football is probably not best served by an Australian president of Indiana University. I don't think that it's a coincidence that they picked a guy with no direct ties to any B1G university (the same as Delaney before him) because nobody in the conference would trust some other school to have an out-sized influence on that office. Ohio State doesn't want "a Michigan man" sitting in that chair, and vice versa, but the irony is that we would probably agree a lot more with the direction and focus of the B1G if a sports-minded university in the conference was helping to direct things (unless that school's mascot is Bevo).

The good news is that university presidents like to see all of that money coming in because it helps everything related to their jobs, so they can't kill the goose that is laying golden eggs. Still, limits on scholarships for certain male sports? Why not? More conference games (which keeps the money in the conference)? Why not? Fewer coaches? Fewer expenses. They don't really know how to steer the machine that's been built, so they'll need help doing that from ... the new B1G commissioner. College athletics could seriously cease to exist as we know it in a few decades, or it could be thriving in ways that we can't presently imagine,... and a lot of that will depend upon the influence--or the lack of influence--of the B1G commissioner.
 
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So, do you know what concerns me about Warren as the new B1G commissioner? When asked to describe the achievements that led him to this position, he specifically mentioned the exponential growth of the Minnesota Vikings front office, and he specifically mentioned various equality initiatives, such as hiring more women, etc. I have absolutely no problem with hiring a woman for any job, as long as A) she's the most qualified candidate, and B) the job needs to exist at all. One of the least talked about things in college education that has affected so much is the rapid growth of the bureaucracies that run universities over the past few decades. A lot of that has been connected to various positions involving equality, rights, etc. Again, using the same standard as B above, I don't mind as long as there's a need for the job, but pick some of the most prestigious universities in America and look at where they have spent train-loads of money over the past few decades, and you'll find a disproportionate amount of money has been spent on new construction and new administrative positions. Is this what he wants to do with the B1G? Isn't it foreboding that a non-American introduced him while talking about how the other sports matter? Of course they do, but does that mean that football exists only as a means to that end?

I think that that is how the university presidents see the world. It is going to take someone pushing back against that to say, "You know, I like the idea of having an Interpretive Dance Team, but you're going to need football and basketball to make more money to pay for that, and you're going to need to continue to invest in those sports in order to continue to get more out of them." Is Warren the guy to say that? It's concerning to me that he pretty much bragged about how Minnesota hired a lot of people--especially a lot of women--and he stressed that their front office is often envied by the rest of the league ... yet nobody is envying the Minnesota Vikings as an NFL franchise championship juggernaut. The Vikings will never be confused with the Patriots in terms of the sort of success that fans want. Does it matter to Warren that the Vikings weren't playing in, let alone winning Super Bowls? What is the standard that he is going to use to judge success in the B1G? National championships? or more women hired to work in the B1G conference offices?

I realize that I'm about to get torched for raising such non-PC questions, so, again, I stress that I have absolutely no problem hiring anyone of any gender, race, religion, skin color, political views, or any other factor that you can come up with,... as long as A) that person is the most qualified person for the job, and B) that job needs to exist. Did the B1G university presidents just make a PC hire in the hopes that he's going to make a bunch more PC hires? Don't get me wrong: he seems very qualified as far as his background and experiences, but it bothers me that he didn't actually point to any athletic success at any level when talking about his credentials. He was doing top-level legal work for the Rams when they won the Super Bowl in January of 2000; did he play a role in that? could he tie that to himself in any way? Why not at least mention it?

I loved his demeanor, and I love his life story, but the more that I reflect on what he and the B1G officials who were with him said and--possibly more importantly--didn't say, the more that it has me at least mildly concerned about where things are supposed to be heading from this point forward.
 
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Bigger Ed

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
So, do you know what concerns me about Warren as the new B1G commissioner? When asked to describe the achievements that led him to this position, he specifically mentioned the exponential growth of the Minnesota Vikings front office, and he specifically mentioned various equality initiatives, such as hiring more women, etc. I have absolutely no problem with hiring a woman for any job, as long as A) she's the most qualified candidate, and B) the job needs to exist at all. One of the least talked about things in college education that has affected so much is the rapid growth of the bureaucracies that run universities over the past few decades. A lot of that has been connected to various positions involving equality, rights, etc. Again, using the same standard as B above, I don't mind as long as there's a need for the job, but pick some of the most prestigious universities in America and look at where they have spent train-loads of money over the past few decades, and you'll find a disproportionate amount of money has been spent on new construction and new administrative positions. Is this what he wants to do with the B1G? Isn't it foreboding that a non-American introduced him while talking about how the other sports matter? Of course they do, but does that mean that football exists only as a means to that end?

I think that that is how the university presidents see the world. It is going to take someone pushing back against that to say, "You know, I like the idea of having an Interpretive Dance Team, but you're going to need football and basketball to make more money to pay for that, and you're going to need to continue to invest in those sports in order to continue to get more out of them." Is Warren the guy to say that? It's concerning to me that he pretty much bragged about how Minnesota hired a lot of people--especially a lot of women--and he stressed that their front office is often envied by the rest of the league ... yet nobody is envying the Minnesota Vikings as an NFL franchise championship juggernaut. The Vikings will never be confused with the Patriots in terms of the sort of success that fans want. Does it matter to Warren that the Vikings weren't playing in, let alone winning Super Bowls? What is the standard that he is going to use to judge success in the B1G? National championships? or more women hired to work in the B1G conference offices?

I realize that I'm about to get torched for raising such non-PC questions, so, again, I stress that I have absolutely no problem hiring anyone of any gender, race, religion, skin color, political views, or any other factor that you can come up with,... as long as A) that person is the most qualified person for the job, and B) that job needs to exist. Did the B1G university presidents just make a PC hire in the hopes that he's going to make a bunch more PC hires? Don't get me wrong: he seems very qualified as far as his background and experiences, but it bothers me that he didn't actually point to any athletic success at any level when talking about his credentials. He was doing top-level legal work for the Rams when they won the Super Bowl in January of 2000; did he play a role in that? could he tie that to himself in any way? Why not at least mention it?

I loved his demeanor, and I love his life story, but the more that I reflect on what he and the B1G officials who were with him said and--possibly more importantly--didn't say, the more that it has me at least mildly concerned about where things are supposed to be heading from this point forward.
Great posts and valid concerns. The B1G is flush with money and access leads to excess. I read an article about the Pac-12 not too long ago and they're spending a ton of money on plush offices, etc. It won't be too long before the complaints about unwise spending start rolling and summarily ignored.
 
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