What would the off season be without rumors? Well according to CBSSportsline.com journalist Dennis Dodd, Notre Dame Athletic Director Kevin White could be a possible candidate as the next Pac 10 Commissioner.
"If you playoff proponents want a ray of hope, here it is: Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen is rumored to be stepping down next year. (His choice, by the way) Hansen, along with the Big Ten's Jim Delany, is part of the blockade against a plus-one. The new commissioner might be able to slowly melt some cold presidential hearts within the conference.
Watch for the Mountain West's Craig Thompson to go after the job. That makes sense, but there is another name in the rumor mill that will blow your doors off: Notre Dame AD Kevin White.
Hansen is the longest-tenured major-college commissioner having been in his position since 1983."
If Hansen does indeed call it quits in 2009, White would be the frontrunner. 1.) His familiarity with the conference and his ties with those schools should help. Dr. White's tenure as the head of the Arizona State athletic department didn't get unnoticed whatsoever, as he helped improve facilities and the NCAA violations. 2.) Family will be close by too! White's son, Danny, is an Associate AD at Fresno State and is expecting their first child. That would be the first grandchild in the White family.
Other possible candidates for the Pac 10 besides White and Craig Thompson might be Ohio State AD Gene Smith. And speaking of Smith; if White does bolt South Bend for the sunny skies of California, he would easily be the Fighting Irish's first and most obvious choice. Smith was a former player that was part of the 1973 National Championship squad and a coach under Dan Devine from 1977-1981.
If Smith doesn't pan out, there's a huge list of folks that would be itching at the chance to come to South Bend. Below is just a short list of the most obvious choices for Fr. Jenkins.
Athletic Director Candidates
Smith is the only choice in my opinion, but the rest will be considered because of university ties.
Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin): Assistant football coach under Lou Holtz
Joel Maturi (Minnesota): ND Alum
Steve Orsini (Southern Methodist): ND Alum
Mike Bobinski (Xavier): ND Alum
Bubba Cunningham (Tulsa): ND Alum and former Associate AD
Larry Williams (Portland): ND football captain under Gerry Faust and former ND employee
Once again this is only rumor and speculation, but in this crazy world of Intercollegiate Athletics, moves are made in a blink of an eye!