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SBD/September 19, 2011/Colleges
Texas, Three Other Big 12 Schools In Serious Talks With Pac-12
Published September 19, 2011
HURDLES REMAIN: In N.Y., Pete Thamel reports "three significant steps must be taken before any type of deal can be consummated." First, UT regents "must approve of the deal when they meet" today. The second factor is "completing the details of the new 16-team league, including the alignment of the divisions and how Texas’ Longhorn Network would fold into the Pac-12’s television contract structure." The "third hurdle will be whether they approve the additions." There are "worries over the size of the league, the academic reputation of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, and a philosophical concern over why the league needs to grow more in the wake of the blockbuster television contract signed this year" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19). Big 12 administrators indicated that there is a "likelihood of dividing the league into four-team pods for travel purposes, with Tech, Texas, Oklahoma and OSU all becoming part of the same pod to minimize travel concerns." One Big 12 administrator yesterday said that "nothing is certain but 'all signs seem to be pointing' in the direction of the Pac-16 for the Big 12 schools." Another source "said not to rule out the ACC option in regard to Texas" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/19).
FANS WANT RIVALRIES MAINTAINED: A poll commissioned by Baylor Univ. and conducted by DC-based KRC Research found that three-quarters of college football fans “would be disappointed with the creation of super conferences that would eliminate historical regional conference rivalries.” The poll also indicated “a strong belief that decision-making regarding conference realignment should be conducted with transparency and public input.” The survey, conducted Sept. 16-18 among 1,500 college graduates within the Big 12 footprint, found strong support for the existing college athletic conference realignment. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said schools should “fight to preserve the original intent of collegiate athletics as part of the student experience” while only 19% said the “commercialization of college sports is inevitable and should be expected” (THE DAILY).