PHOENIX - The man known for making big changes in his 20-plus years as commissioner of Major League Baseball is coming to the Valley to join the university that calls itself "No. 1 in innovation."
Bud Selig, who left his post as MLB's commissioner last summer, will anchor the rotation for ASU's sports law program, serving as president.
Selig oversaw MLB from 1992-2015, adding the wild-card playoff format and interleague play early in his tenure, later implementing instant replay, the strictest drug-testing program in American professional sports and, of course, increasing the significance of the league's all-star game, creating a tie-in with the World Series.
For Selig's part, he said this move is in continuing to look forward into the future of sports.
"It's a field that didn't exist when I first got into the business," he said in a press release from the university. "I don't think any of us understand (sic) how big this is going to be, and I really believe ASU is going to be a pioneer in this field.
Selig has history as a professor, teaching at Marquette University's law school since 2009 and also teaching "Baseball and American Society since World War II" in the history department at the University of Wisconsin last fall.
Selig keeps a second home in the Valley and said his daughter's education at ASU, along with conversations with ASU law dean Doug Sylvester, helped him make the decision.
Under Selig's rule, MLB did go through a player strike in 1994, which was the longest in American professional sports history at the time (and has since been passed by the NHL's 2004-05 whole-season lockout). Selig avoided a repeat of the work stoppage, helping negotiate three more collective bargaining agreements throughout his tenure.
The hire is another step in ASU's attempt to increase its law school's profile, which includes a move to the downtown campus. The new building is slated to open this fall.