The “new” Big 12 — if it indeed becomes “new” — is beginning to take form.
Earlier today, huge news broke that Big 12 presidents and chancellors have voted to invite TCU in as the 10th member of the conference. Such news would obviously be a huge blow to the Big East, but the Big 12, thought to be extinct as of a couple weeks ago, could be making some progress toward stability.
At least for the short term.
The Big 12 Board of Directors officially agreed today by a vote of 8-0 a formal grant of television rights for a minimum of six years during a teleconference — in essence, distributing their first and second-tier TV rights equally. Up to that point, the idea was only agreed upon in principle. As you’ll notice, the Big 12 currently has nine members, but only eight votes; Missouri, on the advice of legal counsel, did not partake in the vote.
Additionally, the conference decided “bylaws will reflect that no member institution branded outlet will show high school games or highlights, noting that it is permissible pursuant to NCAA interpretation to use scores, standings and statistics of high school games.”
So, basically no HS content for the Longhorn Network for the immediate future.
Will that be enough to keep Missouri to stay? All signs continue to point that the Tigers are slowly but surely separating themselves from the Big 12. Mizzou chancellor Brady Deaton is no longer the chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors, nor the Big 12 expansion committee. And, as I mentioned above, they did not vote to sign away their TV rights to the conference.
You never want to say it’s a done deal until it’s a done deal, but Missouri appears to be leaning heavily toward finding a way out of the Big 12.
On the contrary, Oklahoma president David Boren was gleeful with today’s meeting. Below is his statement on the teleconference:
“Today’s Big 12 meeting was the most positive conference meeting that we have had over the last two to three years. The reforms made and actions taken are a win for the entire conference. The actions taken at the meeting will help to strengthen the conference and increase its stability. Commissioner Chuck Neinas deserves great credit for his leadership in bringing this agreement together. I also appreciate the close partnership between OU and OSU in working for meaningful reforms. All of the actions taken are important and I was especially pleased that the conference will have its own bylaws to make sure that institutional branded networks will be prohibited from showing high school athletes in game or in highlight format in a way that could give any conference member a recruiting advantage.”