Big 12 reportedly set to hire Roc Nation executive Brett Yormark as commissioner

The Big 12 plans to go an unconventional route to find its next conference commissioner. According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, the conference is finalizing a deal to hire Roc Nation executive Brett Yormark.

Yormark has worked with Roc Nation, a talent agency founded by rapper Jay- Z, since 2019, and previously spent nearly 15 years as CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment.

In April, the Big 12 announced Bob Bowlsby would step down as conference commissioner after 10 years. Bowlsby, like many conference commissioners, had a lengthy career in collegiate leadership roles prior to joining the Big 12, including serving as the athletic director for the University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, and Stanford University. 

Yormark will be a departure from that norm, which was evidently by design, as Dellenger reported Monday that the conference targeted outsiders for the position.

“A bevy of high-profile athletic directors were in the mix as well as some conference executive staff members, but the league took a different approach,” Dellenger wrote. “Over the last two days, a small group of Big 12 presidents interviewed three finalists in Dallas. None of the final candidates currently work in the college sports industry.”

A Big 12 football team hasn’t won a national championship since Oklahoma won the 2001 Orange Bowl. However, the Big 12 won each of the last two men’s basketball titles with Kansas and Baylor winning the last two NCAA Tournaments. Baylor won the women’s basketball title in 2019 too.

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