Beebe grew up in Walla Walla, Washington and played two years football at Walla Walla Community College before getting a scholarship. In 1979 he received a bachelor's degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he was team captain on their football team. In 1982 he graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Southern Methodist University case
His first job out of school was working in enforcement of NCAA rules from 1982 to 1986. He was assistant director of athletics at Wichita State University from 1986 to 1987. In 1987 he was named director of enforcement for the NCAA with his most notable case being the imposition of the "death penalty" against Southern Methodist University in the Southern Methodist University football scandal.
From 1989 to 2003, he was commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference.
In 2003 he joined the Big 12 as senior associate commissioner and chief operating officer. On September 5, 2007, he was promoted to commissioner.
Beebe had a stormy relationship at the Big 12 helm as the University of Nebraska moved to the Big Ten Conference and University of Colorado moved to the Pac-12 Conference at the end of the 2010-11 season. Then Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri announced in the fall of 2011 that they were moving to the SEC Conference at the end of the 2011-12 season. The moves ended a 100+ year relationship of Missouri and Nebraska to the conference as well as ended a 100+ year rivalry between Texas A&M and the University of Texas.
The Missouri and Texas A&M departures had been stirred by a University of Texas deal with ESPN to broadcast games on the Longhorn Network which was valued at $300 million over 25 years. The departures of Nebraska and Colorado, which destabilized the conference the previous year, were no small factor either. Texas also said it would broadcast high school highlights (which other schools felt would put them at a disadvantage when recruiting future players) and Texas initially indicated it would not share revenue from the deal with its fellow conference members. The NCAA ruled that televising potential recruits' games would not be allowed before this could be done. Texas had been talking about such an arrangement since 2007.
Beebe said that he had proposed equal revenue distribution in the conference as early as 2008 but that the conference had not voted on it. Further he noted he had negotiated a 13-year $1 billion deal with Fox Sports.
- "Crisis brought out the best in the Big 12's Beebe | Dallas-Fort Worth College Sports News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW". Dallasnews.com. 2010-08-29. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- Wieberg, Steve (2011-09-22). "Big 12 seeks reforms to ensure stability as Beebe departs". USA Today. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "SoonerFamily • View topic - Dan Beebe named Big 12 Conference Commissioner". Soonerfamily.com. Retrieved 2011-12-15.[permanent dead link]
- "University of Texas, ESPN join forces on Longhorn network - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- "Dan Beebe out as Big 12 commissioner - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- Russo, Ralph D. (2011-10-09). "Dan Beebe says Big 12 now taking steps he touted". Washington Times. Retrieved 2011-12-15.