Monday, March 12, 2012

Broz, Lady of the Day: Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee

By Adam Maher / @ArtoMar1

Welcome to National Bracket Day! If you haven't filled out a bracket yet, what the hell is your problem? I know a drunk, blind dude with no hands who just finished filling out his, so get on it!

Today's Bs of the D are none other than the people responsible for concocting the 2012 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets. Below, meet them. They are responsible for millions of dollars being thrown away to losing brackets across the country. They are also the coolest 10 people on the face of the planet.

These 10 have the toughest, most complicated jobs in all of sports. In 2012, CBS and Turner Media signed a 10-year, $14 Billion broadcasting contract to air the March Madness games. These are the people responsible for making sure that $14 bil is matched with integrity, fairness, and sportsmanship. I also came to find they're quite interesting people!

What a gig, bro!

Jeffrey A. Hathaway (Chairman)
Retired AD UCONN
Big East Conference
After serving as an Associate AD from 1990 - 2001, Jeffrey Hathaway was named UConn's Athletics Director in June of 2003. In the intervening stretch, he served as the AD at Colorado State. Hathaway was responsible for securing long-term contract extensions for Jim Calhoun, Geno Auriemma and football coach Randy Edsall in 2004-05. Many observers credit him as a key player in UConn football's impressive rise to national awareness.

The Sporting News named Hathaway to its “Power 100 List” in 2004, and has chaired a number of Big East Committees prior to his selection to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. He is a Maryland native, attended the University of Maryland, and served in a number of administrative roles within the Terps' Athletics Department before moving onto UConn. When Jeffrey isn't turning heads with his bracketeering leadership skills, he enjoys long summer walks on the beach, chocolate fondue, and Game of Thrones on HBO.

Lynn Hickey
AD UT-San Antonio
Southland Conference
Lynn Hickey is only the second woman ever to serve on the Men's Selection Committee (UNC-Charlotte AD Judy Rose was the first, from 1999-2003). She's a true asset to the Committee, having been an All-American at Ouachita Baptist University and a member of the US National Team in 1973. She also served as the head women's basketball coach at Kansas State (where she was elected as a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame) and Texas A&M, amassing a career record of 279-167 in 15 years of coaching. After leading the Aggies to a Sweet 16 appearance in 1994, Hickey was promoted to Associate AD in College Station.

Hickey has been instrumental in securing an incredible number of NCAA Championship events for UTSA (13 in all from 1999 - 2010), including the 2006 Women’s South Regional, the 2007 Men’s South Regional, the 2008 Men’s Final Four, and the 2010 Women’s Final Four. She served as President of the Southland Conference from 2002-04 was named the 2006 West Region Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA. The First Lady of the Committee was once quoted saying, "That's my ice cream, get your own, you heard?"

Mike Bobinski
AD Xavier University
Atlantic 10 Conference
Mike Bobinski is in his second stint as Xavier's Athletics Director. His first run came from 1998-2004, after which he moved to the university's fundraising & development office for two years. He served as AD at the University of Akron and Associate AD at Navy prior to coming to Xavier. He graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame in 1979, playing four years of baseball for the Irish. After graduation he moved into the business world for four years, working for Deloitte and the Walt Disney Company as a CPA. Mike's daughter Melissa attends Xavier and his son Brian goes to Ohio State. Both are tremendously attractive.

Dan Beebe
Big 12 Conference
Though he's only served as Big 12 Commissioner since 2007, Dan Beebe has already developed an impressive resume. He served on the BCS' television negotiations committee with ESPN and in addition to the Selection Committee, Beebe was also named to the Executive Committee of NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors). 

Earlier in his career, Beebe served as the Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference for 14 years. He's a native of Walla Walla, Washington and received his undergraduate degree from Cal Poly-Pomona and a law degree from UC-Hastings. He and his wife Molly have two daughters and two sons. When Beebe isn't in his native Walla Walla, he enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle through Machu Picchu, whilst throwing 100 dollar bills to the native children, saying, "too bad you can't use those here."

Doug Fullerton
Big Sky Conference
Doug Fullerton assumed the Commissioner's role of the Big Sky Conference in 1995, moving up from the AD position at conference member Montana State, where he'd been for 11 years. He also served as an assistant basketball coach for the Bobcats during his time in Bozeman.

Fullerton is widely regarded as one of the most powerful commissioners in the FCS subdivision and led the creation of BigSkyTV to stream all major conference sporting events over the Internet. He's a lifelong Montanan, with an undergraduate degree from California Western and a master's from Montana State. He and his wife Cari have one daughter, Amanda. Years later, Doug Fullerton becomes the first president of the moon.

Ron Wellman
AD Wake Forest University
Atlantic Coast Conference
Ron Wellman has served as Wake Forest's AD since 1992, making him the longest-tenured director in the ACC. Prior to his nomination to the Basketball Selection Committee in 2009, Wellman served on the NCAA's Division I Management Council and the Baseball Committee. He was named AD of the Year in 2008 by both Street and Smith's and the NACDA-Southeast (National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors). 

Wellman graduated from Bowling Green, where he played baseball, and coached baseball at Northwestern. His wife Linda, and daughters Nicole and Melissa, all attended Wake Forest. Wellman's daughter Angie is also married to a Wake alum. Ron loves Wake Forest more than a fat kid loves chocolate-covered twizzler cookies. He also has Chris Paul's autograph.

Steve Orsini
Conference USA
Steve Orsini became the AD at SMU in June of 2006. He's been instrumental in reinvigorating SMU's basketball and football programs, hiring Matt Doherty and June Jones as coaches. SMU has built a brand new practice facility for its hoops teams, a new tennis stadium, and has renovated historic Moody Coliseum over the last five years. Maintaining its commitment to academics, SMU's athletes graduate at a remarkable 96% rate. Orsini previously served as AD at UCF, and has also worked at Georgia Tech, Navy, and for the Dallas Cowboys. He graduated from Notre Dame, is married to a South Bend native, and has a daughter. Steve is married to a South Bend native.

Scott Barnes
AD Utah State University
Western Athletic Conference
Barnes has served as USU AD since April 2008. An ardent supporter of Aggie athletics, he initiated a new student fee policy that generates over $2.1 million every year for the department.

Barnes came to Utah State from the University of Washington, Eastern Washington, San Diego, Pacific University, and Iowa State. He was recognized as the NACDA West Region AD of the year in his position at Eastern Washington. Barnes hails from Spokane, is married, and has two children. When he's not directing athletic programs, he's directing your mom.

Joe Alleva
AD Louisiana State University
Southeastern Conference
Alleva joined LSU in April 2008 after a 10-year tenure as director of athletics at Duke University. In his first school year as AD, 2008-09, all 20 LSU sports competed in NCAA postseason play for the first time in school history and the Tiger baseball team won the national championship. Alleva's was named LSU vice chancellor in 2009, the first time in school history that the AD has also held a vice chancellor position.

Alleva was born in Suffern, NY and attended LeHigh and Duke University. He and his wife, Annie, have three children, J.D., Jeff, and Jenny. When asked who he thought would win the NCAA tournament, Joe said," My favorite letter is 'J.'"

Jamie Zaninovich
West Coast Conference
Zaninovich was named one of the prestigious "40 Under 40" honorees by the Sports Business Journal in 2010 as one of the top young professionals in the sports industry, and is the current chair of the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association Division I Subdivision. Before coming to the West Coast Conference he was an Assistant AD at Stanford and an Associate AD at Princeton.

Zaninovich's earned his bachelor's degree in political science and communications in 1993 from Stanford. He and his wife Karen, and sons Max and Lucas, reside in Millbrae, Calif. Jamie enjoys a good pair of used Under Armour leggings, and it has been rumored that his favorite movie is, "Anything that stars John Cena."

Head over to bracketography if you have any questions for the committee (they've posted their contact information).

Happy bracketing!

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