The Big 12 officially announced on Monday evening that the league would not be expanding and will not add any universities to the conference.
The news puts an end to a rather lengthy process that involved nearly every school outside of the Power Five in some form or fashion. As the result of the decision, many of those programs rumored to be on the Big 12’s short list released statements on the matter.
Here’s BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe:
BYU Statement on Big 12 decision not to expand... pic.twitter.com/CSXC10SNym— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) October 17, 2016
“The announcement by the Big 12 Conference against expansion is not unexpected and is indicative of the volatile world of college athletics administration,” UConn president Susan Herbst said in a statement, while also releasing the promotional materials the school used in their pitch to the Big 12. “While I am sure many in our community are nervous about what this means for our future, I am confident that we have put our best foot forward in considerable effort to demonstrate how we currently operate our university and athletics programs at a ‘Power 5’ level and will continue to do so.”
“The Big 12’s decision in no way changes the mission of the University of Houston that began long before there was talk of conference expansion. UH is a diverse Tier One research institution that is on the move,” Cougars president Renu Khator said in a statement. “We remain committed to strengthening our nationally competitive programs in academics and athletics that allow our student-athletes to compete on a national stage. We are confident that in this competitive athletics landscape, an established program with a history of winning championships and a demonstrated commitment to talent and facilities in the nation’s fourth largest city will find its rightful place. Our destiny belongs to us.”
Even South Florida released a statement on Monday after the Big 12 Board of Directors meeting.
“We are on a path to greatness at USF, reminding everyone in the Bulls Family why we are proud of who we are, how far we have come and what lies ahead,” athletic director Mark Harlan said. “Our student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, alumni, fans and community members have propelled our program to profound success in recent years in the American Athletic Conference and I am confident that they will continue to do so in the future.”
The news that the Big 12 would not expand is no doubt disappointing for many fans from everywhere from Provo to Storrs to Houston to Tampa.
While administrators had a much more realistic idea of the process and what the eventual outcome was going to be, one thing everybody can agree on is to be thankful that this dog and pony show of Big 12 expansion is finally over.