Pac 10 Commisioner Tom Hansen will retire following the 2008-2009 season after 26 years on the job. From Fox Sports:
Hansen will step down effective July 1, 2009. Pac-10 teams won 204 NCAA championships during his time running the league and he has seen the emergence of Pac-10 football and basketball in recent years - including men's basketball being widely considered the strongest conference in the nation this past season.
"It has been a unique opportunity and an honor to be associated with the 10 outstanding institutions of higher education which comprise the Pac-10 Conference," Hansen said. "I want to thank them for the opportunity to be Pac-10 Commissioner."
Hansen is a notorious traditionalist who has nixed a number of changes during his tenure. A number of complaints about Hansen include the lack of exposure for football and basketball (very few games on ESPN and an illogical allegiance to FSN), terrible bowl game arrangements for the conference, packaging the minor sport TV deals with football and not requiring FSN to show games, an allegiance to the Rose Bowl (and resistance to a playoff) and more. Keep in mind that Hansen reports to the university presidents so not everything is in his power.
I've met Hansen a number of times and even sat next to him at last year’s Pac 10 tournament. He’s an extremely nice guy and it’s clear that he cares more about academics than athletics, however his actions as commissioner have also made it clear that he is not very good at his job. There’s a laundry list of issues with the conference and Hansen has done little to fix them. It will be good to see a new person in charge.
The first thing that needs to be done is to stop this allegiance to FSN. I know for a fact that ESPN was preparing an amazing offer to cover Pac 10 football and basketball, but the conference agreed to their deal with FSN without even talking to ESPN. Along those lines, the conference needs to treat their minor sports better. FSN is required to show the Pac 10 Championships for a number of sports, but isn’t required to show a game or two a week. The conference has given FSn the rights to games, but the network is under no obligation to show games.
I’d also like to see the conference develop something similar to ACC Select. ACC select has webcasts of football and basketball games not on national TV and webcasts of minor sports available for a price ($10 per month, $50 for the entire spring). It’d be great if the Pac 10 also had this so our Bruins in exile could watch non-national games online and everyone can watch baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, etc.
I could go on and on about the faults of the Pac 10, but I’ll end my rant here. If I feel inclined I'll add the rest of my thoughts on things the conference can improve on in a comment.
So with new leadership upon us, take this moment to a) rant about Hansen b) name any potential replacements you've heard of c) talk about some changes you'd like to see made in the future or d) all of the above.