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Hancock set to become first full-time BCS administrator

10/7/2005 - College Football

Bill Hancock, the former administrative director of March Madness for the NCAA, will be named the first full-time administrator of the BCS in the next few days.

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg, the current BCS coordinator, said Friday that an administrator "well-known in college athletics" would be named, most likely next week. However, two industry officials named Hancock, currently a Kansas City-based consultant to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, as the administrator.

"Bill was one of the first names suggested to us," Pacific-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said Friday. "We were very impressed with the candidates. Bill has a great passion for college athletics. He has terrific personal relationships in our business and with the media. We felt he would bring credibility to the position."

Hancock worked for the NCAA basketball staff from 1989 through 2002. Before that, he worked at the Big Eight Conference and was co-chair of the local organizing committee for the 1988 Final Four in Kansas City.

Hancock has not responded to a phone message left for him Friday afternoon.

He is sorely needed by the BCS, a $96 million business for which Hancock will be the first permanent employee. Four conference commissioners have taken two-year turns as "coordinator" of the BCS, which means that each of them tried to run the BCS while still performing his day job.

Weiberg, the current BCS coordinator, has had to lead negotiations with the television networks for the four years beginning next season and with the "non-BCS" conferences that wanted more access to the BCS. Those negotiations, concluded last season, resulted in the addition of a fifth BCS game beginning next season as well as relaxed qualification methods for the conferences that don't receive automatic bids.

Weiberg spoke with delight Friday that "a long two years" will end at the conclusion of the Rose Bowl, the BCS Championship Game, in January.

"It has just become so big a burden for the commissioner [in charge]," Hansen said. "The operation has become not only very big, it's become very complex. We thought it would be helpful to have someone who continues across the shift from conference to conference."

Hancock left the NCAA, he said, to spend more time with family. In January 2001, Hancock's 31-year-old son Will, an assistant sports information director at Oklahoma State, was one of 10 university athletes, officials or others connected to the Cowboys basketball team who died in a plane crash near Denver.

Bill Hancock has just published a book recounting a cross-country bike trip he took as a method of dealing with his son's death.