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Pac-12 continues search for next commissioner

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Plus, baseball gets trounced.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Coug fans. If you’re reading this, I’m going to presume you’re interested in the success of the Pac-12 as a Power 5 conference. You’ll recall that Larry Scott—he of just one win in 19 career singles tennis matches—is packing up his lavish office. The almost-former Pac-12 commissioner didn’t exactly set up his league for future success, and the search for his replacement is a crucial one.

Say, how’s that search going? With limited information, so far we can surmise this: Not great, Bob!

First, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News told us the Pac-12 commissioner search could end up hiring two people for the job. Wilner also indicated that Amy Brooks, a senior executive with the NBA, could be a candidate. Not anymore:

This comes after some high-profile names have already either dropped out of the race or expressed no interest: Ohio State AD Gene Smith, Alabama AD Greg Byrne, and West Coast Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez. Nevarez recently signed an extension to stay as commissioner in the WCC.

Wether those three were actually candidates or just names thrown against a wall by pundits is anybody’s guess, but the search committee would be smart to at least gauge their interest.

The Oregonian’s John Canzano, never one to pull punches when it comes to Pac-12 leadership, opined on the issue this week. You might be turned off by his suggestion that the league should reach out to.....are you ready?.....Bill Moos.

Apparently the search committee is extremely tight-lipped about its direction, though obviously Wilner was able to get information on the potential path of procuring a two-headed commissioner of sorts. Without knowing much else, I’m starting to wonder if the job of Pac-12 commissioner is even attractive. You have a conference with tons of issues, with revenue chief among them.

But who knows—maybe the league will knock it out of the park. The college sports landscape is changing rapidly, and the Pac-12 presidents can’t afford to screw this up.

Baseball trounced

The beautiful weekend in Pullman started in ugly fashion for Cougar baseball, as WSU’s bats went mostly cold in a 13-0 loss. The Cougs managed 10 hits but left eight runners on base. WSU starter Brandon White lasted only until the third inning as the Ducks opened a 5-0 lead.

The lead could have been just 3-0, but an error on a potential inning-ending ground ball to third allowed Oregon to extend the inning, and the lead.

Oregon had runs in six straight innings beginning with the third. Oregon starter Robert Ahlstrom went seven scoreless innings and gave up six hits. Ahlstrom and reliever Caleb Sloan combined for 10 strikeouts. Kodie Kolden, Kyle Manzardo and Tristan Peterson each struck out twice for WSU. Manzardo did manage two hits, though.

WSU and no. 8 Oregon are back on the diamond in Pullman today at 2:05 p.m.

Links

Abe Lucas could've embarked on his NFL career this week. Instead, Washington State's standout tackle returned to school to improve 'between the ears' | The Spokesman-Review
As of Thursday afternoon, at least one NFL draft-specific website still had Washington State right tackle Abraham Lucas erroneously listed as a potential day-three selection in the 2021 event.

WSU to weigh recovery plan for athletics budget at upcoming Board of Regents meeting | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State University’s Board of Regents will meet next week to review a plan to balance the athletics department’s operating budget by 2023, the university announced Friday.

T&F Post Numerous Top Ten Finishes - Washington State University Athletics
The Washington State University Track and Field program was in action at both the West Coast Relays and the Buc Scoring Invite Friday afternoon.

No. 16 Cougs Battle No. 19 Beavers this Saturday at Wawawai Landing - Washington State University Athletics
PULLMAN, Wash. – The No. 16-ranked Washington State rowing team host its final regular season regatta of the spring this Saturday, May 1, as the Cougars host No.

Cougars Drop Series-Opener to No. 8 Oregon - Washington State University Athletics
The series continues Saturday at 2:05 p.m.