B12 commish hopes remaining teams stay

June, 11, 2010

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is doing what he can to sell his conference to the remaining 10 teams still, at least at this point, in the league. A few highlights of Beebe's call with the media:

* Beebe has provided information to the remaining schools that they are valuable if they stay together, making the argument that they would be the valuable pieces to any conference, so why not stay together? He said he's talked to consultants and media buyers and said the conference TV deal in the future would be better than what the Pac 11 would get.

"If we hold together, we'd be in as good a position as anyone in the conferences with our media locales," Beebe said. "There has to be a decision by the institutions that they have a willingness to do that."

Beebe acknowledged that the remaining schools had some choices to make. He said he continues to appeal for them to stay. He said he's been in contact with Texas and believes the school is "still considering all options and working on all options."

* Beebe said Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney told him Friday morning that the Big 10 was not looking at inviting any other members of the Big 12 at this point (after Nebraska accepted). That means Mizzouri isn't likely to head to the Big 10.

* So assuming Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M leave the Big 12, would that be the end of the conference?

"I think that would be up to any remaining institutions," Beebe said. "I will work for whatever direction they give me. We have an analysis of many institutions that they could consider combining with. We'll have to see when and if that day comes what we're going to do."

That day could come Tuesday.

* Beebe said if the 10 remained, they would look at possibly expanding to 12 again, but wouldn't have to because they'd have the valued institutions and the BCS bid. What they wouldn't have is a conference championship game.

"We feel the 10 members we have would continue to produce a tremendous amount of revenue," Beebe said. "Are there any institutions from a media standpoint that would add more value? I'm not sure that's the case. There's some value to a 10-member conference and playing 9-team football schedule and 18-team basketball schedule."

Again, it seems a longshot that the 10 would remain. But the fact that Beebe indicated it would be all about media markets on expansion leads me to believe the idea of just inviting someone like TCU to help fill out the conference doesn't seem likely.

* Beebe was asked if the Big 12 had gotten its own network in 2007, if things would be different.

"Certainly if there was a network, like the Big 10, where the institutions would have had to grant their rights to the conference for 20 or 25 years, I think that would have prevented any institutions from leaving," Beebe said.

* Beebe said he felt Nebraska and Colorado were honest with the league about their intentions. But Nebraska has questioned whether they have to pay the exit fee and Beebe feels the bylaws say they do. That, by the way, is just not giving them their full share of the revenue pie before they leave. Nebraska wants to go to the Big 10 in 2011.

* Beebe said he raised every possible scenario during this whole process, including expanding the Big 12.

"We didn’t have the full support to go in other directions," Beebe said. "We are handicapped by something I’ve inherited -- staggered rights. Some of the things when you get in times of stress, issues from the very beginning between member institutions, started to get more exaserbated. There's a realization we need to work better in the future and that’s something we can do."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



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