POSTED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 8:58pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:42pm
Tuesday, June 15: With the departure of Colorado to the Pac-10, and Nebraska to the Big Ten, it seemed as if the Big 12 Conference was finished. The Texas Longhorns came to the rescue, or was it money who came to the rescue? With the hope of a Texas Longhorn Sports Network, Texas decided to decline the Pac-10 invitation, and stay in the Big 12. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M followed suit, making Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Baylor very happy.
Mack Brown said, "My thought was that it was best for the student athletes, it was best for our Olympic sports, it's best for our fans, and a lot of people got excited over other games. We can schedule those games still. We have UCLA and Cal already on our schedule for the future, so I think it's a win win. Our players and their parents have continually said they would like to stay in the big 12, the recruits and their parents have also said they would like the Big 12 to stay together, and most of the fans that I have talked to that drive or fly to all of our guys, and they have all said that they would rather have us with a regional conference because they can still go to the games."
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said no new TV deals have been struck, but he has "extremely strong verification, based on our analysis with our consultants and others, and media companies themselves, that we are in a tremendous position to execute future agreements that will put our member institutions on par with any in the country." He did not provide any numbers during a conference call with reporters.
"The Big 12 approached us asking if we would maintain our current agreement through its term of 2015-16, and we agreed," said Josh Krulewitz, vice president for communications for ESPN.
A Fox Sports Net spokesman said that no new deal had been reached, but there would be ongoing discussions.
Texas, already the richest and most powerful of the Big 12 schools, is convinced it can make even more money in a 10-team league.
"The Big 12 [television] package is going to be every bit as good as any other conference," Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said. "We are in good shape on the television side."