Big 12 Decides Against Expansion

October 18, 2016

The Big 12 Conference will not expand beyond its current 10 members, the league announced Monday, dashing the hopes of several college programs that have been lobbying to join the conference over the past year. "Ten is the right number," Gregory Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, a Big 12 member, said in a statement. "It promotes a competitive balance and allows for a round-robin schedule in the different sports, which is best for our student-athletes. This is the right way to ensure a strong conference moving forward."

The news likely came as a disappointment to several institutions that have increased athletic spending in recent years in hopes of receiving an invitation to one of the wealthier Power Five conferences, of which the Big 12 is a member.

“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,” Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston, one of the colleges that had hoped to join the Big 12, 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 the national stage. We are confident that in this competitive collegiate 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.”

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