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Weird day for this to break

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This is an unexpected scoop.

The Big East hopes to have a replacement chosen for retiring commissioner Mike Tranghese by the end of December at the latest and former Rutgers football player Tim Pernetti, currently the school's radio analyst for football, is among the candidates, according to five people familiar with the search.

The people requested anonymity because the search is ongoing.

Former Big 12 commissioner Steve Weiberg, Central Florida athletic director Keith Tribble and University of Texas associate athletic director Christine Plonsky are among the non-Big East officials being considered, the people said. Senior associate Big East commissioner John Marinatto and associate commissioners Tom Odjakjian and Nick Carparelli Jr. are the candidates from within the conference under considation to replace Tranghese, who will step down at the end of June.

Pernetti is currently the executive vice president for content for the CBS college Sports Network.

University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark A, Nordenberg, Georgetown president John J. DeGioia and Big East consultant Kevin O'Malley are overseeing the search.

Why exactly is Pernetti being considered?

FYI, I think Tom Luicci meant Kevin Weiberg, not Steve Weiberg (who is a reporter for USA Today). Weiberg is an interesting candidate, this is the first search result that Google turns up.

Kevin Weiberg’s abrupt decision to leave the Big 12’s commissioner job last week still appears rather curious.

Weiberg was named the fourth-most influential person in college athletics by the Sports Business Journal only 2 1/2 years ago. And, typically, you wouldn’t expect someone to willingly leave a job that paid him a total package of nearly $700,000 to become the vice president of planning and development for the Big Ten Network.

Fresh from huge success negotiating the conference’s television package and a record revenue year, Weiberg appeared to have completed his most successful year as commissioner.

But the makeup of the conference ensured that Weiberg’s job was a difficult one, fraught with backbiting as he attempted to build unity. It’s been that way since he took the job nine years ago. And it appears that Weiberg finally had enough.

Big 12 schools share all conference-generated revenue with the exception of TV money. That discrepancy has helped create budget discrepancies between the conference’s elite schools like Nebraska, Texas and Texas A&M and bottom feeders like Kansas State and Iowa State.

The decision to leave the Big XII for the Big Ten Network was rather curious.

Some of the conference’s schools thought that Weiberg’s style of leadership was too meek at times. OU officials wanted him to be more vocal after their controversial football loss at Oregon last season that might have cost them a shot at the national title game.

Former A&M basketball coach Billy Gillispie was a critic last season when the conference placed only four teams in the NCAA tournament. Other basketball coaches privately sniped that the conference was ineffectual in marketing the conference to the NCAA.

The Big 12’s national stature had diminished in recent seasons as schools like Colorado, KSU, A&M and Nebraska struggled. Despite Weiberg’s pleas to beef up non-conference football scheduling, most schools have largely ignored his request.

Weiberg’s biggest strength was that of a consensus-builder. But the way that Weiberg’s job was set up, he couldn’t become the influence peddler that other commissioners like Mike Slive of the Southeastern Conference, Jim Delaney of the Big Ten or even Mike Tranghese of the Big East were able to become.

That suited Weiberg. But it made his job that much tougher.

Weiberg had hoped that revenue sharing would be discussed at the conference’s most recent meetings, feeling that the conference is only as strong as its weakest financial member. But the issue wasn’t even discussed, mainly because the bylaws require a "super majority" of nine schools to approve any change in the league’s bylaws.

And there’s little doubt that schools like UT, OU, Nebraska and A&M were unwilling to start thinking about sharing television money equally.

"I’m a proponent of more equal revenue sharing on the television front," Weiberg said. "I’m certain that issue will have to be aired out fully, and maybe the new person will have a good opportunity to do that."

His frustration about being unable to effect change deepened as his tenure continued.

"In this job, you really didn’t have a vote," Weiberg said. "It ultimately comes down to what your members are willing to do. And in some of these areas, there just has not been a lot of change since the conference was formed."

Weiberg’s new job will be a tough one as he attempts to sell the Big Ten’s new cable network as a national network.

Count me as intrigued, but I'd need to know more. Keith Tribble was president of the Orange Bowl before he took the UCF gig. Christine Plonsky is from the Pittsburgh area, and spent four years in PR and three years as an administrator for the Big East flanked by two stints at Texas. The other name I'm not familiar with is Kevin O'Malley, who is steering the search committee.

The Florida-based former CBS and Turner Sports executive is a silent partner in the BCS. His expertise has helped the Big East retain its BCS bid. He also helped assemble the new BCS formula that kicks in this year. It's clear after talking to O'Malley that the BCS is most valued if it goes to the "plus-one" model. O'Malley apparently pushed hard but couldn't get it past the presidents.

Weiberg or Carparelli seem like the best choices if that is to be the pool of candidates.