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Current and former Big 12 conference commissioners discuss issues facing intercollegiate athletics

Texas Program in Sports and Media will host panel discussion April 16

AUSTIN, Texas – April 10, 2013 – As the NCAA tournament season ends, athletic conference chatter and the future of intercollegiate athletics take center stage. Conference realignment is among the topics current and former Big 12 commissioners will discuss at an event co-sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication's Texas Program in Sports and Media (TPSM) and the College's Gwyn David Lecture Series.

Hosted by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, the event will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in CMA 2.320, 2504 Whitis Ave.

Advertising lecturer Joel Lulla will moderate the panels, which will discuss issues facing the conference, the new college football postseason and intercollegiate athletics in general. The first panel on public relations begins at 2 p.m., and the second panel featuring the commissioners begins at 3:15 p.m. 

The Gwyn David Lecture Series was created in honor of the late Gwyn David. A 1979 graduate of the College of Communication, David was senior vice president and media director of GSD&M, an Austin-based advertising agency.

The panel includes:

  • Bob Bowlsby, commissioner – One of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, Bowlsby became the fourth full-time commissioner of the Big 12 Conference in May 2012. Previously, Bowlsby spent six years directing Stanford Athletics, which sponsors 35 varsity sports and claimed an unprecedented 17 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors Cups. Before joining Stanford University, Bowlsby served as the University of Iowa’s athletics director for about 15 years and guided the merger of the Hawkeye men's and women's athletic departments.
     
  • Dan Beebe, former commissioner – Beebe served as Big 12 commissioner from 2007 to 2012 and as senior associate commissioner from 2003 to 2007. During almost 30 years of intercollegiate athletics administration, he has been involved in issues related to conference realignment, major television deals, playoff and bowl postseason football formats, prominent infractions cases and officiating programs. Since leaving the Big 12, Beebe has started a consulting business and launched a misconduct risk management company, BMT Risk Management. Beebe also consults with leading sports organizations including the NCAA, the Knight Commission and the new Big East Conference.
     
  • Tim Weiser, deputy commissioner – He serves as chief operations officer in the day-to-day management of the Big 12 Conference. He assists the commissioner as staff liaison to the Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Big 12 legal counsel. He previously served as director of athletics for Kansas State University from 2001 to 2008. He also has served as director of athletics for Colorado State University and Eastern Michigan University.
     
  • Bob Burda, associate commissioner for communications – In addition to overseeing the communications operation, Burda also serves as the conference's baseball and wrestling liaison and is the primary media contact for general inquiries and football. His duties have also expanded into the areas of television scheduling, marketing and working with the league's Board of Athletics Directors.
     
  • Ken Luce, founding partner of LDWW Group – He is an award-winning branding, marketing and communications industry expert who works with the Big 12. He has led global issues management efforts, international product launches and brand campaigns, thought leadership programs and grass-roots and advocacy building initiatives for some of the world's best-known brands. Luce has particular expertise in sponsorship activation and consumer and digital marketing campaigns.

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Contacts: Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182.

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