OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche

The first ever commissioner on Higher Ed Athletics, Ohio Valley Conference’s Beth DeBauche joined the show for a wide-ranging conversation. DeBauche is a new NCAA Board of Governor member and shares her thoughts on balancing her past NCAA national office experience and tradition with the need to address the future of college athletics. She shares the role of a conference commissioner for those that may strive to be ADs one day, and then talks about working directly with presidents and chancellors. DeBauche tells the story and vision behind the Football partnership between the OVC and the Big South, including how it’s more than a scheduling alliance. And of course the conversation can’t end without a talk about conference realignment and strategic positioning as the OVC continues looking to expand. DeBauche describes the approach with Lindenwood who has 30+ sports as they joined the OVC as its regular conference.

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:30 How do you balance your past NCAA experience w/ the changes that need to happen as a Board of Governors member?
  • 6:20 How do you explain the role of a conference commissioner?
  • 10:30 How has the job changed since you started and since Covid?
  • 12:05 Do presidents/chancellors have enough time to focus on these NCAA issues?
  • 17:20 The OVC & Big South Scheduling Alliance details with Football
  • 25:00 What makes the FCS Playoff great and (in Travis’ opinion) better than Bowl season?
  • 30:07 Conference Realignment!
  • 33:45 What was the approach with Lindenwood and their large # of sport offerings?
  • 35:45 What are the driving factors of schools leaving a conference and is the Transformation Committee slowing down D2 to D1 reclassification?

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