Updated: Big 12 reportedly looking to oust Beebe Thursday

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Shortly after the Pac-12 decided that it would not expand any further, Associated Press reports came in that Texas and Oklahoma, the two schools which ultimately hold the decision-making power for the Big 12’s future,  were planning a pow-wow to discuss a possible five-year contract of sorts to stay in the conference.

It appears that idea has spread to include the remaining seven members of the Big 12, as a teleconference over Big 12 stability has been scheduled for Thursday, the Tulsa World reports.

Among the ideas that will reportedly be discussed to ensure long-terms stability in the conference will be the replacement of current commissioner Dan Beebe, high-ranking Big 12 sources tell the TW. Additionally, former Big 8 commissioner Chuck Neinas has had his name thrown around as a possible replacement.

The report states Big 12 CEO’s will also attempt to make one final push to keep Texas A&M in the conference. That, however, appears to be a sailed ship. The Aggies made it clear yesterday that, despite what happened in the Big 12, there were no plans to stay beyond this season.

As a nine-member league, the Big 12 seems to, once again, be on the hunt for replacements. BYU’s name continues to trend, along with TCU and Air Force. All three have been reportedly mentioned as favorites by Oklahoma president David Boren.

(Writer’s note: The desire to maintain a 10-or-12-team Big-12 is understandable; the conference must be at least 10 members to avoid financial penalties with their TV deal that goes into effect next year . However, this was a conference that, not 24 hours ago, looked to be on the verge of extinction. Equal revenue sharing and addressing the Longhorn Network seem like bigger issues that should be addressed first — see below.) 

TCU was reportedly in New York last night in a meeting with Big East officials about its own conference future. As far as we can tell — which isn’t far at all — the Horned Frogs are a committed member of the Big East. Air Force has been mentioned by the Big East as a possible football-only member.

It’s also no guarantee that BYU would join the Big 12, given it’s very, very recent question marks. As a football independent, the Cougars can control every aspect of their destiny.

But the Big 12’s destiny may not be signed and sealed on Thursday during the teleconference. Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News that Big 12 AD’s plan to meet next Tuesday and Wednesday in Dallas in what will surely be another meeting over the details of conference stability.

How the LHN will fit into that discussion, and the one tomorrow, is yet to be seen. Dodds added that UT still has no plans to share any third tier TV rights (i.e., the LHN) with any other members of the Big 12.

But equal revenue sharing for first and second-tier TV rights is still apparently on the ballot. The TW indicates that Oklahoma has submitted an equal revenue proposal for Thursday’s meeting. The Sooners, as you’ll recall, were still publicly undecided on such a proposal several weeks ago.

As I stated (very) early this morning, the Big 12 can survive, but it will take more than band-aid medicine. There are deep bruises that cannot be fixed without major reform by all parties.

Otherwise, expect to see the same conference drama a year from now.

UPDATED 9:22 p.m. ET: Dennis Dodd of CBSSports reports that the Big 12 is indeed looking to oust Beebe as soon as Thursday and that former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas would take over.

Five-star LB out for rest of Ohio State’s spring after shoulder surgery

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Some negative injury news comes with a bit of a silver lining for one of the highest-rated members of Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class.

Urban Meyer confirmed Tuesday that true freshman linebacker Baron Browning will miss the remainder of spring practice because of an injury.  The early enrollee underwent surgery Tuesday morning to repair an unspecified issue in his shoulder.  The Buckeyes head coach declined to reveal the details surrounding the issue that led to the medical procedure, although one report indicated it’s a torn labrum.

The good news for OSU is that Browning should be able to return to football activities at some pint in June.  Barring a setback, he’s expected to be a full participant in summer camp at the start of August.

A five-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2017 recruiting class, Browning was rated as the No. 1 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 11 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only two signees in an OSU class that ranked second nationally were rated higher than Browning (.9936) — cornerback Jeffrey Okudah (.9954) and defensive end Chase Young (.9953).

Browning is expected to contribute immediately as a true freshman this season.

Kentucky transfer WR Jeff Badet moves on to Oklahoma

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Jeff Badet may have left Kentucky, but he hasn’t climbed out from underneath the Stoops coaching umbrella.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday morning, Badet revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Oklahoma.  The Sooners, of course, are coached by Bob Stoops; the wide receiver’s former program, the Wildcats, are coached by Mark Stoops.

Badet chose OU over another Big 12 school, West Virginia.  The receiver had paid a visit to Morgantown late last month.

In mid-January, the Wildcats announced that Badet had decided to transfer out of the UK football program.  Badet is on schedule to graduate in May, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Sooners.

A three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2013 recruiting class, Badet was third on the team in receptions and receiving yards as a true freshman.  A leg injury in spring practice the following year — a tennis ball to the eye didn’t help either — led Badet to miss the 2014 season.  Returning in 2015, he was third in receiving (29-430); in 2016, he led the team in receiving yards (670) and yards per catch (21.6).

That latter number was tops in the SEC and sixth nationally.

Rutgers grad transfer tight end moves on to Pitt

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Matt Flanagan has officially moved on from one former Big East program to another.

In a missive posted to his personal Twitter account Monday, Flanagan revealed that he will enroll at Pittsburgh in short order and continue his collegiate playing career with the Panthers.  The tight end is expected to graduate in May from Rutgers, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately for his new team during the 2017 season.

This will be Flanagan’s final season of eligibility.

The past three seasons, Flanagan played in 33 games for the Scarlet Knights. In that time, he caught 18 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns.

Flanagan also takes the student part of the student-athlete moniker very seriously. From nj.com:

The former Rutgers tight end told NJ Advance Media last November that his goal was to find a master’s program in a research-based science discipline. At the time, he called his decision “purely academic.”

At Rutgers, Flanagan is part of a select group of Rutgers students studying at the Aresty Research Center. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Flanagan spent three years researching with the hopes of publishing findings on the effects of Creatine — the same supplement made famous by MLB sluggers like Mark McGwire — and how it impacts the cells that synthesize bone.

At his new program, he’ll join a squad that doesn’t return any tight ends who have caught a pass at the collegiate level.

Syracuse makes hiring of D-II Coach of the Year official

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Dino Babers‘ second coaching staff is whole once again.

Following up on reports that first surfaced late last week, Syracuse confirmed in a press release that Justin Lustig (pictured, left) has left his job as the head coach at Div. II Edinboro (Pa.) College to take over as Babers’ running backs coach.  Additionally, Lustig will serve as special teams coordinator for the Orange.

Lustig replaces Mike Hart, who left earlier this month to take the running backs coach job at Indiana.

“The job Justin did as a first-time head coach was fantastic,” Babers said in a statement. “He’s also been a highly-successful assistant coach. The running backs he has coached have performed extremely well, and his special teams units have consistently ranked among the nation’s best. We’re very excited to welcome Justin and his family to Syracuse.”

Hired in January of last year, Lustig took over an Edinboro team that finished 0-11 in 2015 and turned them into a 9-2 squad one year later.  For that turnaround, he was named the Div. II Coach of the Year.

Lustig’s last job at the FBS level came at Ball State, where he served as running backs coach/special teams coordinator from 2011-15.  He also earned the title of assistant head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season.

This will mark Lustig’s first job of any kind at a Power Five program.

“My family and I are excited, honored and grateful for the opportunity to come to Syracuse and join Coach Babers’ staff,” Lustig said. “He is building a championship program there. The future of Syracuse football is very bright and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”