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Report that Pac-10 is pursuing 6 teams heats up Big 12 meetings

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe talks with a reporter while waiting for an elevator during the Big 12 meetings on Thursday, June 3, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. Beebe declined to comment on a Rivals.com report that stated six Big 12 teams would be invited to join the Pac-10 Conference.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe talks with a reporter while waiting for an elevator during the Big 12 meetings on Thursday, June 3, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. Beebe declined to comment on a Rivals.com report that stated six Big 12 teams would be invited to join the Pac-10 Conference.

June 3, 2010, 6:26 p.m. Updated June 4, 2010, 12:00 a.m.

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— The answers were sparse and the soundbites few and far between, but the prevailing message from the third day of the Big 12’s spring meetings at the InterContinental Hotel on the Plaza indicated that the conference was anything but united regarding its outlook for the future.

“There was a lot of passion in that room about the Big 12,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said Thursday. “I can promise you that.”

Website says Pac-10 may invite six Big 12 schools to join

The rumor comes at the same time that all Big 12 athletic directors were meeting in Kansas City. Enlarge video

Perhaps, but Castiglione’s comments did not necessarily mean all of the energy was warm and fuzzy. After Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe presented a strong display of confidence about the conference’s future Tuesday, things shifted a bit Thursday when a Rivals.com report emerged that indicated that the Pac-10 was set to invite six Big 12 teams — Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado — to join the conference.

In an interview with the Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn's words seemed to indicate the report might be based in truth.

“The longer that we were together in Kansas City, it appeared that that rumor or speculation did have some validity to it,” Bohn told the Daily Camera.

Thursday’s agenda, which included athletic directors, university presidents and high-ranking officials from all Big 12 institutions, was bland enough at the beginning of the day and heated up considerably when the report broke around 2 p.m.

“We wouldn’t normally be having some of the conversations we did today if there weren’t the issues that brought all of you together,” Castiglione told the media in reference to the rumors involving the Pac-10.

There also might not have been as much angst. Although many who emerged from the second-floor meeting room did so with grace, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe appeared flustered.

Thursday’s meetings were supposed to conclude at 5 p.m. but lasted until 6 p.m. At that point, Beebe, who was scheduled to speak to reporters after the meetings, canceled the news conference, made a brief comment in the hallway and then hurried onto the elevator.

“No comments until (today),” Beebe said. “Same comments as before. That’s all you’re going to get out of me. I was an investigator; I know how to answer all the questions. Thanks.”

With that, Day 3 was over. Although he left with a smile on his face, Beebe’s actions and abrupt tone told a different story than the chest-pounding, Big-12-loving sentiment he had been preaching all week.

Two of Kansas University’s most visible administrators were not present Thursday. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has been in London all week, and athletic director Lew Perkins missed the meetings Wednesday and Thursday because of a prior commitment. KU associate athletics director Jim Marchiony said Perkins stayed in close touch with Beebe and others at the InterContinental throughout both days.

One bit of news involving the Pac-10 that Castiglione was willing to comment on was the possibility of a future television partnership between the Pac-10 and the Big 12, something those rooting for the survival of the Big 12 see as a positive step toward saving the league that’s set to enter its 15th year of existence this fall. Tuesday, Beebe said the idea of a television merger was something he began exploring as far back as three years ago. Many in attendance Thursday seemed intrigued by the possibility.

“It could be exciting,” Castiglione said. “I think there’s some potential value there. We had one meeting with some of the members of the Pac-10. It wasn’t a scheduled meeting. We brainstormed some of the possibilities that may exist. Since then, both our commissioner and (Pac-10 commissioner) Larry Scott have had conversations. It leads one to believe there are some real viable opportunities for both leagues.”

Asked if he had engaged in discussions with anyone from the Pac-10 about the possibility of Oklahoma heading west, Castiglione spoke directly.

“Not yet,” he said. “And hopefully I don’t have to. At the end of the day, (the talks) have been about the (Big 12) conference itself: its health, its history and its future.”

The Pac-10 meetings are scheduled for this weekend in San Francisco. The Big 12 meetings will conclude this morning with what promises to be a spirited final day.

Comments

anon1958 4 years, 5 months ago

LOL these guys are the supreme popes of cowpies and double talk. Waste of time reporting on anything they say. These articles are only worthy of mocking and that is too easy to even provide good sport.

Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 5 months ago

So glad our embattled excuse for an AD was there to represent our interests...

Graczyk 4 years, 5 months ago

Aw man. I have a bad feeling that KU is going to get screwed. The one thing that KU has going for it is its proximity to Kansas City, but will that be enough?

mdrndgtl 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm curious, why hasn't KU been mentioned in any conference realignment?

anon1958 4 years, 5 months ago

" mdrndgtl (anonymous) says…

I'm curious, why hasn't KU been mentioned in any conference realignment?"

Because the TV market KU would bring is relatively puny, the football team sucks and always has and there are not other factors of geography or demography to counter these liabilities.

anon1958 4 years, 5 months ago

Our father who resides in heaven,

Please God, I humbly pray for the PAC 10 to successfully lure away the rich successful southern football teams from the Big 12. I promise to never take your name in vain again (well unless I hit my finger with the hammer really hard again) and I swear I will utter 10,000 Hail Mary's. Please God also please arrange Missouri to join the Big 10 and find a nice home for the University of Nebraska. I attest that the scoundrels running the University of Kansas are the most wicked and selfish men and women on the planet and by gutting their blasphemous worship of the false idols of football and basketball your wisdom will be known to all. Thank you. Amen.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

Please disregard other minor problems around the earth because parochial revenge and self-satisfaction takes holy priority over any other act You may be considering.

newmedia 4 years, 5 months ago

Send Missouri packing if they want to leave so bad. Make Arkansas an offer they can't refuse and move on with the Big 12.

Jeff Cuttell 4 years, 5 months ago

There is NO WAY the Big 12 can offer anything close to what they have already. Especially if the Texas schools are gone.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

Have you been paying the slightest attention to this?

Larry 4 years, 5 months ago

KU isn't being mentioned in either conference because contrary to Lew's perception of the job he has done, KU doesn't bring anything with it. Lew's hires have been failures. Softball? girls basketball, fired the most successful KU football coach in what? ever? I like Turner Gill and I hope he does well but KU's history of hiring nice guys to coach football is pretty pathetic. Let's hope Coach Gill changes that. I fear not since Nebraska neglected to hire Gill last time around. For whatever reason, I suspect there is concern by Nebraska.

Also agree with the earlier post (anon 1958)....KU doesn't pull a large television market and money drives everything. Imagine this.....would KU have a single piece of appeal (athletic wise), if not for men's basketball. Why would anyone want KU? or K-STATE - home of the NEVER win a national championship in anything and some of the most obnoxious fans in the nation. Mizzou - it's close and has an established rivalry with Illinois and Iowa even if Misery sticks!

deskboy04 4 years, 5 months ago

This is all about money. Each of the schools want more money. There is no loyalty to leagues existing in some form, or another, for decades. They want more money so they can build bigger facilities. This is a business. The only difference between this and the "real world" is in private sector the athletes get paid.

CLARKKENT 4 years, 5 months ago

LARRY, LARRY, LARRY

YOU CALL K-STATE FANS OBNOXIOUS---JUST LOOK IN THE MIRROR---THERE ARE PLENTY OF THEM FOR GOOD OLE K.U.

THAT WAS A PRETTY DUMB POST.

Write2Know 4 years, 5 months ago

This could be really good for KU. If those 6 go to the PAC10 and MU and NU go to the Big 10, that will leave KU, K-State, Iowa State, and Baylor. Those schools can form a new conference called The Final Four. Think of how many conference championships KU will be able to rack up in every sport since they'll have at least a 25% chance to win each title at the start of each year. Plus each team will have both a home and away game in football. It can't be anymore fair than that. No more unbalanced league schedules.

Armen Kurdian 4 years, 5 months ago

Why in God's name would Texas schools joing the Pac-10? That's more than halfway across the country to play Oregon & Washington schools. All these damn TV contracts have been great in the short-term for fans, but this really ticks me off this land grab for schools solely focused on making money from TV contracts. Cant' they just leave well enough alone?

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

You answered your own question. Money. If KU were to be offered Pac10 status, they would be gone.

Bud Stagg 4 years, 5 months ago

It is a huge concern that KU is not mentioned. We have 2.5 million people in Kansas. The only market that is worse is Nebraska, but they have national appeal. MU has 9 million peeps so they have appeal. We bring no viewers to the big picture. No viewers = no revenue.

If we get kicked to the curb and have to join a puny conference, it will drastically affect our basketball program. Headlines will read "KU wins 25th straight missouri valley conference championship by edging out Northern Iowa".

OOOPs wait that is not a good example...

Graczyk 4 years, 5 months ago

I think that KU does have a national audience in basketball. You can also count Wichita and the KC Metro and KU tv sets. KU is at least as attractive as schools like Washington St., Minnesota, South Florida, etc. KU will be fine - at least I hope so.

Jeff Cuttell 4 years, 5 months ago

Joehawk is right. The state of Kansas means nothing to these conferences. No population means no TVs. Wichita is included in that number and the western half of KC. You could add another 500,000 for the rest of the Metro, it doesn't matter. Minnesota is in the Big 10 (which wants to expand) so they aren't going anywhere and there are MANY more cities in MN AND Washington. Look at an atlas for populations and see.

Graczyk 4 years, 5 months ago

I've looked at the state of Washington earlier. Population around 5.5 mill I think. But the eastern part of the state (where WSU is) seems sparsely populated. Pullman has about 26k people and Spokane around 250k if I remember correctly. Seems fairly comparable to KU.

I am from Florida originally and I knew about KU basketball and football even though I lived in SEC country and didn't care much for basketball. They show the Sunflower Showdown nationally. I'm not taking a shot at MU, but they really weren't on my radar until recently.

I really do think that KU has a national presence and would add to a power conference - at least during basketball season. KU's recent signals that it is willing to invest in football may also help in the long run.

I am not saying KU's position is strong (because it's not), but I think that it does have a few bargaining chips. I just hope they aren't cow chips.

LogicMan 4 years, 5 months ago

"KU will be fine"

Not good timing to have a sports scandal or two.

Graczyk 4 years, 5 months ago

I think the sports scandals are much worse from an immediate public perception standpoint than they are in the long term outlook. Every school has had sports scandals, KU's is interestingly bad I will admit, but I would think that insiders take a different view of these things than the general public. It's not too dissimilar from the way corporations behave.

nobody1793 4 years, 5 months ago

KU could totally dominate the Horizon League!

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

Why not just boot sports from the college campus and set up minor leagues considering what is taking place.

Leave the campus to focus on academics.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

At least half of the comments here belong to the 1970s, a great decade, but 40 years has passed. Austin Powers might agree with your comments. I know that we love KU, but stunningly, not everyone else does.

College athletics = money. After you understand that, then your comments can be taken seriously. I'm beginning to understand why KU is not considered big time if its followers have no better idea of how the NCAA works. Go roast some chestnuts--check out some spelling bees or something.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm sounding a little bit like a hole here, and that's not really my intention. The money is all that matters as ugly as it sounds. We just don't have the population to be significant. And we have the strange geography to belong to no one. That's really where we are.

Yawnmower 4 years, 5 months ago

The basketball program was ranked #1 in the nation (for the fastest growing sport in the nation) for the majority of last season. The paranoia in here that KU is not a desireable addtion to ANY conference is palpable.

Are you freakin kidding me that you think KU and Nebraska are concerned no one will care about them ?

Sure its about money. But its also about name brand marketing based on tradition.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

When the invitations come, you're right. If they don't, you're wrong. Right now, you're wrong. I want to be wrong, Yawnie, but right now, it do not look good.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

As long as we have sports, I agree with you.

Jock Navels 4 years, 5 months ago

Misery and Nebraska to big 10 Tx, TxAM, Ok, OkSt to SEC CO to Pac 10. Baylor to C-USA KS, KSt, TexTech to WAC Iowa State to Missouri Valley. Done, done and done.

Raider 4 years, 5 months ago

You have GOT to be kidding right? TTU will go where UT goes. The two schools are very politically aligned. West TX controls the agriculture and oil.... and Tech is West TX. UT is not going to alienate the TX legslature. So, to fix your post....

UT, TTU OU, OSU, CO to Pac-10 aTm to SEC MU / Neb to Big 10 The other 4 are sent scrambling for a new home.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 5 months ago

jock, the WAC? To quote Homer Simpson? Did we lose a war? That's not Canada, that's not even Mexico!

I don't believe KU will follow this at all. KU as an independent would be much cooler than joining an also ran conference. KState probably will go this way, but KU won't have to. Basketball tradition is big enough to carry the day, and let's face it, at least for me, 50 years of KU football, the stuff I've seen is hardly a tradition at all.

If we are not bound by a conference and numbers of teams, get rid of all the sports that draw money away from football and basketball. Yes, we still have to comply with Title IX, but that's where I would draw the limits.

Being single might not be such a bad result. Just think: wouldn't it be fun to be the national bball champions without being in a conference! It could be done, and we wouldn't be sharing money with anyone, although the payday might be drawn down some.

Jock Navels 4 years, 5 months ago

very good point...independent...play coast to cost...Notre Dame is, after all, the Kansas University of football. I like it...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

KU should go international. Maybe join a Canadian league-- after all, Naismith was Canadian, and many of KU's most successful football players had pro careers there.

levicircle2 4 years, 5 months ago

KU isn't mentioned because - in this conference realignment chess game - only football matters. OU and NU aren't being courted by other conferences for their basketball - they have national football appeal, due to decades of (mostly) good teams. They are the two schools from the old Big 8 that can claim that.

Okie St goes with OU, because the Oklahoma Legislature won't let them go to different conferences, and the OU prize is big enough that a raiding conference will take both.

UT, A&M, and TTech the same - they're all state schools, and will all go to the same place - Baylor (private) would be left to float wherever they can.

MU is taken because they'll pull in half of St. Louis and half of KC, equaling one major market.

Iowa State, Baylor, and the two Kansas schools (like OK and TX, where one goes, the other goes - the Regents and Legislature wouldn't allow any other outcome) could be left to find their own conferences (and none of them could pull off the "independent" bit).

The future of the Big 12 is about to enter a very interesting phase....and, quite possibly, a very depressing one for fans of the sunflower schools.

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