Conference Update: The Big 12 Lives

June 15, 2010

The University of Texas at Austin announced late Monday that it would pass up a lucrative invitation to join the Pacific-10 Conference and remain in the Big 12 Conference. The decision, which surprised many commentators who had predicted just hours earlier that Texas' move to the Pac-10 was "imminent," reportedly came after the Big 12's commissioner, Dan Beebe, made a last-ditch proposal that would more than double the revenues that each member of the league derives annually and let individual members (notably Texas) create their own independent television networks for their teams. (As has been the case throughout the latest round of conference shenanigans, Orangebloods.com, an online publication that covers the University of Texas' sports programs, had the most detailed and accurate information about the goings-on.) The Big 12 had been all but left for dead after the University of Nebraska left for the Big Ten Conference and the University of Colorado at Boulder bolted for the Pac-10. But the additional money that Beebe's plan would carve out for the colleges -- perhaps more than the intense pressure placed on them by lawmakers in Texas and Kansas university leaders who would have been left behind in a severely weakened Big 12 -- appears to have helped persuade UT to stay in the Big 12 and keep the Midwestern league alive.

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