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September 22, 2011A high-placed source in the Big 12 has confirmed that Dan Beebe will step down as conference commissioner.
Beebe got a raise and a three-year extension to his contract, which has four years left (including this year) at an annual salary of just less than $1 million per year.
Orangebloods.com reported on Tuesday night that the Big 12 Board of Directors had indicated to Beebe that it wanted a change in leadership.
CBSSports.com has reported that former Big 8 commissioner Chuck Neinas will serve as interim commissioner of the Big 12.
Beebe got credit for bringing the conference's TV partners to the table last year and securing the commitment of ABC/ESPN to continue paying the Big 12 as if it was a 12-team league with a championship game despite going down to 10 schools.
But some have said Beebe made some critical missteps in trying to hold the Big 12 together this time around, including holding a conference call with the league's presidents on Sept. 2 without Texas and Oklahoma, sources told Orangebloods.com.
During that conference call, Beebe told the presidents to "work on Texas," because Beebe believed the Pac-12 wouldn't invite Oklahoma without Texas, sources said.
In the end, Beebe was right. But Oklahoma sources resented Beebe for that, and OU sources told The Oklahoman the Sooners wanted Beebe removed as commissioner going forward.