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Volume 26 No. 47

Colleges

The Big 12 has "changed from the dysfunctional conference that always seemed way too close to the self-destruct button," as all of its "public posturing and talk of ... being 'psychologically disadvantaged' may have actually done some good," according to Chuck Carlton of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, "People never disliked each other. They just had honest disagreements as to how things ought to fit together. We had a lot of challenging issues. We've resolved many of those issues. As a result, we're enjoying a period of prosperity." The conference made the "decision to remain at 10 teams, apparently at least through the current TV agreements" running through '25. The return of the conference's football championship game has "worked with Oklahoma advancing to the College Football Playoff each of the last two years." West Virginia President E. Gordon Gee said, "When we went through the process of determining whether or not we were going to stay the course, or add teams, when we made that final determination, that solidified things." He added, "Money solves a lot of woes. It also is a sign of success. It is not everything. But we are being very successful, and I think that is important to where we are. That does give us a sense of solidity, purpose, momentum" (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/9).

FSU officials discussed the move for years and saw it as a chance to clarify their relationship with boosters
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

FSU is "privatizing its athletics department, shielding it from public-records requests and treating it like a corporation rather than a traditional state university department," according to Iliana Limon Romero of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The school's BOT voted Friday to "create Florida State University Athletics Association, a direct-support organization that will run the athletics department." Seminole Boosters Inc. "signed a memorandum stating its chair will report" to FSU AD David Coburn, who will "serve on several Seminole Boosters' committees." FSU officials said that they had "discussed the move for years and saw it as a chance to make their relationship with Seminole Boosters clearer and more efficient." The switch will also give FSU athletics "all the privileges of a private corporation, including declining any public-records requests while still preserving its sovereign immunity." The immunity clause for state agencies "caps any jury judgments or settlements reached by the athletics department at $200,000" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 6/89). In Tampa, Matt Baker wrote the boosters previously had "more power at FSU than most comparable athletic departments." The switch is "designed to change that" (TAMPABAY.com, 6/7).