The Big 12 has landed on its next commissioner, and he’s someone who comes from the entertainment industry.

Brett Yormark, the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, is finalizing a deal to be the new leader of the Power 5 league, Sports Illustrated reported, a surprising move that brings yet another outsider into college sports’ most exclusive and powerful group.

Yormark would replace Bob Bowlsby, who announced about 3 months ago that he would step down.


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Yormark, 55, has spent the last 3 years at Roc Nation, originally as co-CEO with twin brother Michael. In his various roles at Roc Nation, he’s worked with artists, athletes, leagues, teams and brands and oversees sponsorship, licensing, content partnerships and brand strategy. These are essential elements and qualities especially beneficial in an ever-changing college sports landscape that entered a new phase last July with the lifting of the NCAA’s amateurism rules. The era of name, image and likeness has brought legalized athlete pay, agent involvement and player branding never before seen in college sports.

The new leadership is just one element of an ever-changing Big 12.

Bowlsby was appointed commissioner in 2012, and along with the Oklahoma and Texas departures to the SEC, he was involved with the Big 12’s addition of 4 future members, in BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston agreeing to join the conference no later than the 2024-25 academic year.