SBD/September 19, 2011/Colleges

Texas, Three Other Big 12 Schools In Serious Talks With Pac-12

Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are "engaged in serious discussions with the Pac-12, but the level has not yet reached the point" where Commissioner Larry Scott "has asked his 12 school presidents to approve invitations for the four Big 12 schools," according to Trubow & Bohls of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. UT President William Powers and Scott "met for three hours on Friday at a business office" in L.A. UT men's AD DeLoss Dodds and women's AD Chris Plonsky "were not present at the meeting, and all three administrators flew home late Saturday night after the Longhorns' 49-20 win over UCLA at the Rose Bowl." UT "still prefers to stay in the Big 12 and had hoped to convince Pittsburgh and Brigham Young to join," but the Pitt option is off after they joined the ACC yesterday. Some Pac-12 presidents "have expressed dissent about further expansion for their league," but a source said that Scott "didn't have total unanimity initially on other issues, either -- like the additions of Colorado and Utah last June, North-South division splits and revenue-sharing issues -- but was able to work out a consensus." Sources said that "any deal would allow Texas to retain its lucrative Longhorn Network under the umbrella of the Pac-16, and keep the revenue stream along the same lines of the 20-year LHN deal with ESPN that pays Texas $300 million." Under Pac-12 bylaws that "created six regional networks pairing the conference schools, Texas would add Texas Tech in its network and include some Pac-16 content in the LHN programming." The net "would probably carry the Pac-16 name." UT officials "would be able to keep all of their revenue from the LHN if that amount is greater than one-sixteenth of what the entire Pac-12 receives for its third-tier rights." However, a source said that if that one-sixteenth "ends up being a larger amount, the 16 schools would divide the revenue evenly" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 9/19). In San Antonio, Mike Finger cites a source as saying Pac-12 expansion "remains a fluid situation" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/19).

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). 
Return to top

Related Topics:

Colleges

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug