Big 12 chairman: Expansion candidates can't dilute league
Another round of meetings among Big 12 administrators transpired Thursday with no seismic shift in the collegiate landscape.
If anything registered as even a rumble, it was Oklahoma president (and temporary conference chairman) David Boren indicating that any potential expansion candidate -- if the Big 12 opts for expansion -- must not water down a league he says is "extremely strong."
"We want to make sure they're not dilutive," Boren said Thursday evening in a post-meeting press conference with Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
"So in other words, you want to look at how do they fit athletically? What is their fan base? What media markets are they in? Where do they stand academically? We don't want to be dilutive academically as well as athletically.
"So where are they? What is their level as a research institution? What's their excellence in teaching and the rest of it? ... To use the financial term, we want to make sure they're not dilutive to what I think is a very strong conference at the present time."
Bowlsby is meeting this the conference presidents and athletic directors this week in Irving, Texas, to discuss a smorgasbord of topics including expansion, a possible Big 12 TV network and a conference football title game.
Boren reiterated Thursday the meetings are primarily for data-gathering and "not a decision-making meeting." Bowlsby called Thursday's discussions "productive" and "open-minded," but said a day before he wants conference leaders to make decisions on the pertinent topics by the end of the summer.
"I think what I've seen in the room is, every single one of us...are taking the point of view that we're going to make decisions after all the data is available to us, which it will be, and after we've had a chance to go back to our home institutions and discuss these with all the community at the institution," Boren said.
"I want to know exactly how does expansion enter into as a possible methodology, our financial position, how do networks enter in, how do other options enter in. So there are a lot things to be considered in. ... We're going to be very careful."