Dave Sittler Spin Check

There is a link in this paragraph to Dave Sittler's latest column for the Tulsa World. I have provided that link in the interest of fair play. It's not necessary to click the link, though, because I am going to be addressing his column here. Let's take the column as it comes to us, you know, taking what the defense gives us.

Given Neinas' vast head-hunting experience, he shouldn't need more than a day to identify and sign his successor - Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds.

Dodds has been the Big 12's de facto commissioner from the day the league was officially formed on Feb. 25, 1994. Schools have either played by his rules or went elsewhere.

The conference's original 12 members would still be together if the 11 other schools would have agreed on Day One that Dodds could both be the commissioner and keep his day job at UT.

Instead, the Big 12 is currently at nine members and counting. It's counting on Missouri not bolting like Nebraska, Texas A&M and Colorado.

After all, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri never would have agreed to Dodds holding both jobs. Colorado? Even back then, the Buffaloes were delighted to be followers interested only in retaining their normal Rocky Mountain-high frames of mind.

Dodds didn't demand to officially hold both jobs at the outset because he needed to find a new home for the Longhorns after he helped kill off the Southwest Conference. So he did the next best thing by pushing through his hand-picked choice, Steve Hatchell, as the league's first commissioner.

Steve Hatchell was voted first commissioner of the Big 12 by a 7-5 vote. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Missouri voted for Hatchell. It's probably pretty important to note that the Big 12 Presidents, not the Athletic Directors, voted on the Big 12 Commissioner. So two of the teams that have left the conference and the one that is apparently still thinking about it voted for Hatchell. We'll go ahead and call this one misleading because I feel like being nice to Sittler.

Hatchell and his successors, Kevin Weiberg and Dan Beebe, always got their marching orders direct from the Austin office of Godfather Dodds. Their only mission was to make sure Texas won every important conference vote.

Only a few who covered every step of the Big 12's formation are still around. Those media survivors can attest that the Big 12's three commissioners did their job superbly, because Dodds remains undefeated when it comes to those behind-closed-doors decisions.

As a member of that motley media crew, I challenge you to name one Big 12 rule or regulation that didn't go Dodds' way.

Well now isn't that funny. Sittler glosses over the fact that Texas and Weiberg had philosophical differences on how to run the conference and that's why Weiberg left for the Big Ten. In fact, Weiberg was the one that tried to get a Big 12 Network up and running, a concept that was voted down 11-1 by the conference members. Nobody has been able to produce the answer to who that 1 yes vote was from, but it certainly wasn't Nebraska as their president Harvey Perlman confirmed when they left for the Big Ten. Of course I already covered how Nebraska was on board with Texas on unequal revenue sharing every step of the way until they left and also on board against a conference network.

As for the last line above, Sittler is obviously intentionally ignoring the tiebreaker vote that went against Texas. Well I guess he could be so ignorant that he doesn't know about it, but who's to say?

And of course the other huge issue that Sittler ignores or is ignorant of is the fact that the other Big 12 schools' representatives such as Perlman had the nice things to say about Beebe because they pushed for him along with Kansas and Kansas State. And, of course Texas A&M and Oklahoma were in favor of hiring Beebe (FWST archives access required) while Texas and Dodds supported the other finalist Jack Swarbrick who is now the Notre Dame Athletic Director. Notice which school doesn't show up anywhere with glowing comments about Beebe when he was hired. That's right, Texas.

No, the recent ruling that UT can't show high school football games on the Longhorn Network wasn't a victory for the Big 12 or a defeat for Dodds. The NCAA made that ruling, and ESPN was the loser instead of Texas' genius AD.

Anyone who didn't think Dodds has always run the Big 12 along with UT's athletic department became true believers last week. Their come-to-Jesus moment arrived when Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech discovered once again that Dodds is the boss of a monster that is a fellow Big 12 member in name only.

Dodds' power play trumped OU president David Boren's attempt to flex some Sooner muscle, and ended the plans of OU, OSU and Tech to jump to the Pac-12 with or without the Longhorns. He proved the Pac-12 really only wanted UT, and would only take the others if it helped get the Longhorns.

Sept. 20, 2011, should go down as the day Dodds proved for at least the 997th time that the Big 12 is Texas' world and the other members should be grateful the Longhorns allow them to live in it.

Hey, the facts are facts. With total respect, I bow in respect to Dodds. Many should join me.

Well, he's sort of right here. Texas is clearly the jewel of the Big 12 from a marketability and desirability standpoint. That was indeed proven recently when Larry Scott jerked Oklahoma around. What he doesn't mention is that the latest events have proven that Texas is the one institution that truly values a relationship with Oklahoma as much as Oklahoma thinks they should be valued. And Sittler should indeed bow to Dodds but that's mostly because Sittler should bow to pretty much anyone that can manage not to trip over their own feet when taking five steps.

It's time to end this nearly 18 years of denial and acknowledge Dodds has been the Big 12's shadow commissioner all along. It will be much easier for those Big 12 schools that can't find a new conference home to finally admit DeLoss is their Daddy everywhere outside the lines of athletic competition.

Dodds can't throw a pass for Mack Brown, or shoot a sky hook for Rick Barnes, so his coaches and their teams are on their own competing against the Little 9 (or 8).

Texas and Dodds tossed OU and Boren a consolation bone by letting it look like it was the Sooners' idea to hire Neinas. Again, if you're old enough to remember when the Big 12 was formed, you know Neinas is just Dodds' latest puppet.

The two men go way back to when Neinas was commissioner of the Big Eight Conference and Dodds was Kansas State's AD. Neinas eventually hired Dodds as an assistant Big Eight commissioner in 1977.

That's right, Dodds once actually worked for Neinas. If you think history repeated itself last week with Neinas' hire, you probably believe those cockamamie stories about how OU and OSU made the decision not to join the Pac-12.

The contention that Texas has run all the decisions around here all on their own is obviously crap as I've already pointed out. Here Sittler just continues to gloss over little things like facts and history. Things like even if Dodds does have a history with Neinas, so does half the college sports world. And also, as pointed out above, little things like the fact that Dan Beebe had previously worked with two Big 12 North Athletic Directors before he was hired. So even if Neinas actually were Texas' choice, maybe that will work out better than the disastrous tenure of Oklahoma and the Big 12 North's choice Beebe.

The 79-year-old Neinas talked a tough game during last Friday's teleconference. He insisted he's in total command as commissioner, isn't some glorified caretaker and is ready to make tough decisions.

Please, Chuck, we know it's not 1977 all over again.

So does Neinas, who has been around so many athletic blocks that he's keenly aware who's really in charge, including selecting new Big 12 members. But he's got the polish and charisma to gloss over the fact that the Big 12's chain of command remains unchanged.

So Neinas should do everyone a favor next Monday and announce his first day on the job is also his last. Then he should introduce Dodds as his permanent replacement.

Shoot, Neinas is so slick that he could charge the Big 12 big bucks as a finder's fee. Several Big 12 schools have already paid him thousands of dollars to help find athletic directors and coaches.

The crafty Neinas knew Dodds was his lucrative ace in the hole when he agreed to the interim title. His experience tells him nobody in his or her right mind wants to replace Beebe.

So Neinas can keep the interim title for as long as he wants to milk the Big 12's bank account.

Eventually, he can tell the search committee Dodds is the only legitimate commissioner candidate. He'll then convince them Dodds will only accept the offer if it allows him to keep his present official and unofficial titles - UT athletic director and Big 12 dictator.

Well now he's not even trying. Just after trying to convince us that Neinas is a Dodds puppet he points out that Neinas has been around the block plenty of times and also that he's worked with several Big 12 schools in the past. And then he goes back to pointing out how he's Texas' puppet.

The entire article is either misinformed, ignorant, or my vote - a typical hatchet job by a talentless hack.

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