Big 12 Will Remain Alive With 10 Schools After Texas Commits
The league, which seemed on the verge of dissolving after Nebraska and Colorado left last week and the Pac-10 began hovering to take Texas and four more schools, will now exist with 10 members and an apparently rich television deal. It was made possible after UT declined an invitation it received over the weekend to join the Pac-10.
"University of Texas president Bill Powers has informed us that the 10 remaining schools in the Big 12 Conference intend to stay together," Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said in a released statement Monday. "We are excited about the future of the Pac-10 Conference and we will continue to evaluate future expansion opportunities under the guidelines previously set forth by our Presidents and Chancellors."
Powers, athletic director DeLoss Dodds and women's athletic director Chris Plonsky will hold a press conference Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. central.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's last-ditch effort Monday to keep Texas in the fold proved to be well-received by Powers and Dodds. Beebe has pitched a television deal that could be worth $14-17 million for most schools in what will be the 10-member Big 12, but Texas' total take could be between $20-25 million because the Longhorns can generate revenue from their own UT Network. That was a perk the Longhorns would not have received in the Pac-10. Texas A&M and OU will get $20 million annually in the new deal.
All 10 schools met Monday to hammer out the TV deal.
Still unknown is where Beebe is getting the television money to get this done. He has a teleconference planned for Tuesday at 11 a.m. where more details will be available.
And now that Texas has agreed to stay aboard, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and even Texas A&M are ready to follow. The Aggies had been holding out on plans to either head to the Pac-10 with the others or remain in the Big 12 because of overtures from the SEC. But apparently, Texas A&M has decided to remain with rival Texas in the new-look Big 12.
Oklahoma had scheduled a special Board of Regents meeting for Wednesday but the school announced Monday night the meeting has been canceled.
"The decision to stay in the Big 12 represents a consensus position which resulted from a collaborative effort with our colleagues in the conference," OU president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a joint statement. "We value the strong working relationship that has been reaffirmed during this process among the conference members. We intend to work very hard to make the conference as lasting and dynamic as possible. We appreciate the respect and interest that has been shown to OU during this process."