NSAC names ten finalists for executive director position

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is one step closer to replacing Keith Kizer with the release of ten names they are considering as finalists for the vacant Executive Director position.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director position has been up in the air for a few months following Keith Kizer's resignation from the position in January. Much of the news surrounding filling the vacancy has been nonsense such as Roy Nelson's application for the position.

However, this week saw the release of the ten finalists for the position posted on ESPN, a surprise given that anonymity was to be a big part of the application process (go read Zach Arnold's coverage of that whole mess).

ESPN breaks down the finalists like this:

• Robert Sean Bennett: Current Nevada boxing judge and a former FBI special agent.

• Eric Bentley: Assistant director of the New York State Athletic Commission.

• Aaron M Davis: Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.

• Christopher Eccles: Serves as deputy attorney general for the Nevada commission.

• Andrew Foster: Executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission, the equivalent job there as what he would do in Nevada.

• Craig Hubble: A lawyer in California and vice president of the regional NABF sanctioning organization.

• Michael Martino: An inspector for the Nevada commission. Has been with the commission since 1981. Also the former interim executive director of USA Boxing.

• Jeffrey C. Mullen: Executive director of the Tennessee commission.

• Joseph W. Nady: A Nevada commission inspector (who happens to be the brother of veteran Nevada referee Jay Nady).

• Mark Smith: An MMA judge for the Nevada commission. Also a former White House fellow and current commercial airline pilot.

There are some issues with some of the names. Hubble having a long history with a sanctioning body with a history of rather embarrassing decisions, Bennett has about 3 years of experience as a judge, none in a title fight, not that that makes him unqualified...but it doesn't suggest a long history of dealing with the fight business. Bentley was assistant director of the NYSAC when they licensed Antonio Margarito despite the double whammy of his loaded hand wrap scandal (though Texas, upstanding commission that they are, had already granted Margarito a license at that point) and a major eye injury that some medical professionals thought would lead to permanent blindness.

There are some potentially good names on the list -- Foster, Martino and Mullen jump out to me as potentially good choices -- but others seem like they'd bring a sort of baggage that isn't needed.

Either way, the target seems to be filling the position prior to Floyd Mayweather's bout on May 3.

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