LJWorld.com weblogs Big 12 realignment
Big 12 Conference lives on
10:07 p.m. Update
Hey all, one more update for tonight... The Big 12's official website now has confirmed this situation and it also has released a story with quotes and comments from several people around the league.
Thought the feel-good piece might be enjoyable for some of you to read.
Also, I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who posted something kind about my efforts here. I can't say how much hearing such nice things means to me and I am thrilled that you found our site and what I could offer so helpful. Thanks to all of you for your help with this blog, as well as your support and continued patronage of KUsports.com. There's more good stuff where this came from!!!
More to come tomorrow, as we expect to hear from KU and we'll also check in with the Big 12 and UT press conferences. There will be more, but at least we all won't be going crazy.
7:28 p.m. Update:
KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said moments ago that Kansas would wait until Tuesday to comment on the matter.
Marchiony said KU wanted to wait until Texas and the Big 12 held their Tuesday news conferences before commenting.
Texas has a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday. No official word yet on a time for the Big 12's news conference.
But again, UT has confirmed on its official website that it will remain in the Big 12.
6:53 p.m. Update:
Pac-10 confirms things... That's a wrap!!!
Commissioner Larry Scott: “University of Texas President Bill Powers has informed us that the 10 remaining schools in the Big 12 Conference intend to stay together. We are excited about the future of the Pac-10 Conference and we will continue to evaluate future expansion opportunities under the guidelines previously set forth by our Presidents and Chancellors.”
6:25 p.m. Update
The following is from the UT official site:
AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas' athletics programs will continue competing in the Big 12 Conference, the university announced today.
University President William Powers Jr., Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds and Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonsky will participate in a news conference at 10 a.m. Central, Tuesday, June 15.
My take: Holy cow. This thing may be over.
6:06 p.m. Update:
Things are definitely looking more and more solid by the minute for the survival of the Big 12 Conference.
Chris Dufresne, of the L.A. Times, has posted on his Twitter account that the Pac-10's new plan is to stop expansion at 12 teams. Colorado became the 11th and Dufresne indicates the Pac-10 will target Utah, of the Mountain West, as its 12th.
Plus, just after 5:30 p.m., Dufresne Tweeted the following: "It's over: Larry Scott just confirmed to me Texas has declined offer to joine [sic] Pac-10. he's back in the Bay Area....statement coming soon."
I put a call into the Pac-10 offices a few minutes ago and am waiting for a call back. Hoping to get Scott or deputy commissioner (and former Big 12 chief) Kevin Wieberg.
More to come.
5:33 p.m. Update:
Dallas Morning News reporting what many already have.... The Big 12 appears to be saved and the conference will move forward with the 10 remaining teams. This report indicates more firmly, that Texas A&M — rumored to be flirting with the SEC — is on board.
More to come. Hopefully we'll hear something from KU officials soon, although they've said all along that they will not comment on rumors.
5:30 p.m. Update:
Less than 30 minutes after a report emerged about the Big 12 possibly being interested in Air Force and BYU as replacement schools for Colorado and Nebraska, an Austin radio station (where the report first surfaced) has retracted that information, saying that someone hacked their accounts to post the erroneous info.
And I thought this saga had it all. It seems that now it may.
More to come.
4:56 p.m. Update:
Note: This could be a couple of schools pushing an agenda, or it could be credible. But reports are starting to surface that BYU and Air Force, both of the Mountain West, are being mentioned as possible replacements for Colorado and Nebraska.
We're working hard to track this down and have calls out to the Mountain West.
4:39 p.m. Update:
ESPN is now reporting that the numbers for a reworked television deal for Texas, should it choose to remain in the Big 12, could now reach the $20 to $25 million range.
Some of that would include revenue from a potential Longhorn Network, which UT has been dying to start for some time. But the rest of it comes from a revamped contract for the conference, which maintains that it could actually have more value as 10 teams — minus Colorado (Pac-10) and Nebraska (Big Ten) — than as 12.
The report indicates that a deal is, "in the works," and it's my belief that you're not working on television deals unless you have a conference to reap its benefits.
More to come.
3:27 p.m. Update:
No one within the KU athletic department is saying anything yet but the Kansas Board of Regents has released a statement.
Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild posted this story with quotes from Jill Docking, the chair of the regents, moments ago.
More to come.
3:13 p.m. Update:
ESPN is finally on board. After going with the headline: "Texas leaning towards Pac-10" all afternoon, the worldwide leader in sports has changed its headline to "Texas leaning toward 10-school Big 12."
What's more, USA Today is reporting that Texas seems likely to stay in the Big 12 and that the most pressing question facing the conference's survival now is what Texas A&M will do.
Will the Aggies go to the SEC or stick with the Big 12? Sources indicated to the Journal-World late last week that an official within one Big 12 school believed that A&M would head to the SEC. However, Gene Stallings, a member of the Texas A&M board of regents, told The Associate Press on Monday that the Big 12 staying together would, "tickle me to death."
And Stallings, who won a national title as the football coach at Alabama, has been a staunch supporter of the SEC throughout this mess.
A&M may still be a key player in all of this, but multiple sources have told me in the last week that the Big 12 (as 10) could move forward without A&M and that the conference would be fine.
That said, I do think that keeping A&M in the fold is the desired outcome.
More to come.
2:34 p.m. Update:
Oh, hey, one more thing... You know that flight we were all tracking feverishly last night? It appears the same plane departed from Austin today and was headed to California. It's not known if the Pac-10 officials were on it or not, nor would it be wise to conclude anything based on a flight schedule, as we learned the hard way.
That said, it's entirely possible that the flight could've gone from Texas to Cali because the Pac-10 could not convince Texas to join and therefore there was no need for Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott to come to Kansas.
More to come.
2:30 p.m. Update:
Chip Brown, of Orangebloods.com, has changed the headline of his main story yet again. The headline now reads, "Back to life... Big 12" - One can only assume that that means things continue to look good for the Big 12.
As the report has said all along, an announcement out of Texas could come as soon as today.
Of course... It could still not come at all.
1:03 p.m. Update
Check out the latest Twitter updates from Pete Thamel, of the New York Times:
Big 12 AD confirms to the NY Times that Texas is on cusp of committing to Big 12. He said, "The musical chairs will stop."
Just got Dan Beebe on the phone very quickly. When asked if things look good, he said, "We'll keep going." Said he couldn't talk anymore.
Working like crazy to get more info on this. Stay tuned.
12:24 p.m. Update:
Here's the latest in the ongoing saga between Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com and ESPN reporter Joe Schad, both of whom, as it seems, have softened their stances a little bit to end up basically where we are with our story in today's paper.
Brown initially indicated that UT was staying in the Big 12. He's since backtracked a little and now is claiming that UT is open to exploring that option. His latest message board update, posted at 12:24 p.m. CDT, is titled: "UT ready to commit to remodeled Big 12."
Still trying to get word on what exactly that says so stay tuned.
As for ESPN, Schad reported earlier today that Texas' move to the Pac-10 was imminent. He since has gone on ESPN radio and backed down from that report all the way to the point of actually reporting what Brown is saying at Orangebloods. Of course, just moments ago, he was on ESPN News saying he still believes the Pac-10 departure will happen.
Interesting developments to be sure. Still feeling good about our report of the Big 12 staying together. Still working the phones to see what we can find out.
More to come.
10:18 a.m. Update:
The Orange County Register has learned that Pac-10 officials will meet with KU tonight at an undisclosed location.
The meeting comes as no surprise in the wake of Sunday's rumors that Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was en route to Kansas City. His plane never landed at KCI, but that doesn't mean he didn't get to the area somehow, somewhere.
Sources told me late Sunday night that KU's meeting with the Pac-10 was going down but that it was a back-up plan for KU, as it was looking more and more like the Big 12 may stay together.
Conflicting reports on the matter have emerged today, with Orangebloods.com reporting that Texas is staying and ESPN's Joe Schad reporting that a move to the Pac-10 is imminent.
On Sunday, KU officials would not confirm that any meeting of any kind was scheduled to take place on Monday.
More to come.
9:39 a.m. Update:
ESPN just posted a story that indicates that Texas to the Pac-10 seems likely and that Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would follow.
The report quotes a source as saying Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's plan has "zero" chance of working.
Stay tuned as this thing is now more out of control than ever.
8:58 a.m. Update:
Chip Brown, of Orangebloods.com, just posted a story citing sources that say Texas is committed to moving forward with a 10-member Big 12 conference.
According to Brown's report, posted early Monday morning, "Sources say Texas is considering a plan by Dan Beebe to hold the Big 12 together with 10 teams. UT officials are expected to announce their decision to remain in the Big 12 as early as Monday."
This news supports the report from a source close to the situation, who told the Journal-World late Sunday night that it looked as if the Big 12 would stay together and that Oklahoma would shift to the North Division.
8:47 a.m. Update:
The Associated Press is reporting that Missouri, the school that some believe started this mess in the first place with its longing for the Big Ten, is pledging its loyalty to the Big 12 Conference.
The latest report out of Columbia quoted Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton as saying via email that MU "will do everything possible to assure the success of the conference."
Missouri officials met around 8 p.m. Sunday night to discuss their options and Deaton briefly met with the media following the meeting.
"We have been a proud member of the Big Six, Big Seven and Big Eight, and we continue to take great pride in the accomplishments of the Big 12," Deaton wrote, according to the AP. "Our position as a member for more than 100 years gives us a great appreciation for the tremendous value of our conference and a vital stake in its future."
More to come.
8:14 a.m. Update:
What began as a lazy Sunday turned into a wild night, with trips to both Kansas City International airport (around 10 p.m.) and the Lawrence Municipal Airport (at 12:45).
The reason? Reports out of Texas indicated that Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was headed, via private plane, to Kansas City to meet with KU officials.
The news seemed to make plenty of sense considering the fact that Sunday evening reports surfaced that Texas A&M had turned down an invitation to join the Pac-10, thus leaving KU as the conference's likely replacement. Those reports were quickly shot down by at least one Texas A&M university spokesperson and the guessing game continued.
About a dozen reporters stalked the waiting area at KCI's smallest terminal but Scott never showed up. We're still unsure if his plane was diverted elsewhere or if he even took off at all.
While we waited, the Journal-World learned that the newest most likely scenario was that the Big 12 would be saved and that the Pac-10 meetings were simply a back-up plan, just in case things changed. In this thing, it seems wise to have at least one back-up plan, perhaps even two or three.
Sources told me late Sunday night that the Big 12 appears closer to a agreement to move forward with the 10 members that remain and, if it in fact did, Oklahoma would shift to the North division, therein opening up the possibility of OU and Texas meeting each year in the conference's football championship.
The source was unsure if the league would move ahead with 10 or 12 teams — perhaps adding two to replace Colorado and Nebraska — and that's where we stand today.
Should be another wild day, as officials from all of the Big 12 institutions likely will be meeting individually and perhaps together to take the next step in this process.
Stay tuned to KUsports.com throughout the day for the latest as it occurs.