Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe teleconference from June 11
With the loss of two Big 12 schools in the past two days, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe spoke to reporters via conference call Friday, regarding the future of the conference and whether or not it can move forward with 10 members.
5:08 p.m. Update:
Q: Can you compare 10-team conference's value to others?
A: It's more general, nothing specific. Our situation, our location. It's more like buying a Picasso than it is buying widgets that are made at a certain level.
Beebe: The other thing to keep in mind is just look at historical place of conference and members. I don't think that has changed. Even though lost 2 institutions, we still occupy some significant markets and some great programs in all the states.
5:05 p.m. Update
Q: With only 6 schools left could you cobble something together?
A: That will be up to the institutions that remain. And I will work toward whatever they tell me.
Q: Penalties after leaving 1 years or 2 years?
A: We're studying all that and there are differences of opinion. Talking about that with legal counsel and others. Still trying to figure it all out.
Q: If school won't pay buyout, what happens?
A: It's not really a payment back to the school but a withheld revenue distribution.
5:01 p.m. Update:
Q: Has UT indicated which way they're leaning?
A: Been in communication but that's private and that's way I want to keep it.
Q: Do you think it all boils down to what happens with Texas?
A: Don't want to put any stake in the ground so I'm not going to speculate on that.
4:58 p.m. Update
Q: Have you run the numbers of Big 12's "10" vs. Pac-11?
A: Not like selling widgets, more like selling paintings. What buyer thinks at a particular time. Because of our institutions, which have value, we're in a better place with these 10. We're fortunate with fans we have, the time zone we occupy and it all adds up to be a better situation.
4:57 p.m. Update
Q: Are 10 you have left committed at the same level?
A: Certainly understand there could be any number of outcomes. Strong desire to keep this together but I know others are looking. Trying to inject as much as I can that this is the best option, these 10 together.
4:55 p.m. Update
Q: Feel like you could've done anything else to stop this?
A: I raised every possible scenario and issue I could think of. Some might have been interested, some weren't. I don't think we had the full support to go in a different direction. We are handicapped by the staggered contracts (TV). There is a realization that we need to work better together in the future.
Beebe: We are working fast and furious to provide meaningful information to all of our institutions that would be helpful to them making a decision. We're feeding them all the info and working on our future plans.
4:52 p.m. Update
Q: Talk about where any blame falls in all this?
A: I'll leave that up to you to talk to our institutions about. I'm not going to join in on that. Certainly been well-documented differences of viewpoints and, unfortunately, those can play out in various ways.
Beebe: Those that are rumored to be leaving, frankly, bring most value to the conferences they're going to. So of the 10 that remain, if they stick together, we'll have a lot of value.
4:51 p.m. Update
Q: How much more until you have to say "It is over?"
A: I will still be working for remaining 10 institutions. I'm going all the way to the final whistle and I have every intention of holding together the 10 we have. I'm playing it out as hard and fast as I can and I'm doing the best I can to understand what they would give up by leaving and what they have by staying.
4:48 p.m. Update
Q: Do you expect to get final determination about future of Big 12 next week?
A: I hope we have a commitment to solidarity going forward in the not too distant future. And it would certainly be great if that was in the next week. Can't describe a particular time frame.
Q: Did you feel deceived by Colorado or Nebraska?
A: No I think everybody's been honorable. I'm not there on their campuses, I can't feel what they feel. But they have been honorable in the way they've treated this.
Q: Do you personally feel like you're under siege?
A: I think that's probably fair. I don't think you could read all the commentary out there and not feel under siege with all the speculation. I want to emphasize that we have very strong institutions that are remaining in the conference that have a lot of value. Opportunities for young people, access for fans, bowls and postseason play and media value.
We're very disappointed about departure of two valued members but there is a bright future if we stay together.
4:45 p.m. Update
Q: Do you feel like college sports loses a little bit when a 100 year old conference has teams start to move like they do and could the whole thing disintegrate?
A: Probably not my place, as commish of conference that just lost two members, to comment. Still a sting associated with their departure. I'm going to have to have some reflection for a few days before commenting on that.
4:42 p.m. Update
Beebe: At this point I think as far as we're concerned my understanding is that there aren't any other Big 12 members being considered by the Big Ten.
Q: Nebraska wants to begin with Big Ten in 2011. What kind of problems?
A: I don't know for sure how we're going to address that. No one was going to share when they intended to leave so we're going to have to figure out how we conduct our regular season and championships. That'll be up to the membership and something we'll have to figure out in next 6 to 8 months.
Neb. Chancellor says doesn't believe NU owes a buyout. Beebe says that's contrary to what by-laws indicate so "I'm not sure where he's getting that."
4:40 p.m. Update
Beebe regarding Big Ten taking Nebraska: I would've thought formal discussions in advance would've happened before we got to the point we've come to.
Q: Will Big 12 have to add teams to survive?
A: We could look at adding teams if the 10 remain together and that's something we need to consider. However, in terms of value and conducting high-level conference, we don't have to do that. The info we have is pretty strong that the 10 members we have would continue to provide tremendous amount of revenue in the future.
Then the question is are there any institutions that would add more value? I'm not sure that's the case.
4:37 p.m. Update:
"I've appealed to them to stay and I was pretty passionate about that at our meetings last week.
Q: What type of notice did you get from Big Ten about Nebraska and have you been asked about any other schools in the conference?
A: Jim Delany called Beebe Fri. morning to tell him that NU was going to apply to become member of Big Ten and that he would accept that application. Delany said Big Ten not looking at other Big 12 schools at this time.
4:35 p.m. Update
Q: Texas consulted with Beebe?
A: Yes. Had many conversations and Beebe has shared info about value in future and "When you look at what we can do as a 10-member conference, we can compete well with our value compared to any conference in the country if we just hold together."
Q: Thoughts on Neb. leaving?
A: It's disappointing. No further thoughts.
Q: What has to happen for Big 12 to stay together?
A: There has to be a decision by schools that they have a willingness to do that. Seems to be high interest in that but there are those that are studying options otherwise. We're trying to present the best case for staying together.
Here we go...
Beebe is in opening statement.
Very disappointing couple of days. Still working tirelessly to ensure that the other 10 members have a bright future.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback about the desire of the institutions to continue to work together and we're working toward that end."
4:25 p.m. Update
Still listening to the delightful hold music while awaiting the start of the Dan Beebe teleconference, which was scheduled to begin at 4:20 p.m. Stick with us.
In a matter of minutes we'll be live blogging the teleconference from Dan Beebe, Big 12 commissioner, who will likely discuss the departures of Colorado and Nebraska from the Big 12.