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Big 12 boss tries to salvage league

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Kansas City Star reported Sunday that the Big 12 might be gaining traction in its fight to stay alive.

The Star reported on a new television contract being touted by commissioner Dan Beebe that could produce "significantly more" than $17 million for each of the 10 remaining Big 12 schools. Perhaps upwards of $20 million per school.

And, that a departure penalty of around $20 million withheld from Colorado and Nebraska would mean $2 million each to the remaining Big 12 members.

Beebe is trying to save the league after the departure last week of members Colorado (to the Pac-10, where the Buffaloes begin playing in 2012) and Nebraska (Big Ten, starting in 2011).

Chad Moller, media relations director for Missouri, told the Star that a Big 12 official told his school that Texas A&M had turned down an offer to join the Pac-10. And Rivals.com reported the Aggies "will be the newest member of the Southeastern Conference." Barely had those statements been made than officials at Texas A&M denied that the Aggies had committed to the SEC or spurned the Pac-10.

Meanwhile, Rivals.com reported that Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, who met with officials from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on Saturday, met with Texas Tech officials Sunday. The Daily Oklahoman reported that the Pac-10 was in the process of inviting those three schools plus Texas and Texas A&M to join Colorado in an exodus from the Big 12 to the Pac-10.

The Associated Press reported that Scott filed a flight plan from Austin, Texas (home of the Longhorns), to Kansas City on Sunday night, apparently to talk with Kansas officials — perhaps as a backup should Texas A&M refuse the Pac-10. But the private plane with Scott and deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg did not arrive as scheduled; an official at the airport said apparently the flight had been changed or canceled.

Regents at Texas and Texas Tech are scheduled to meet Tuesday; their counterparts at Oklahoma are to meet Wednesday.

Other developments:

• Curators at Missouri, apparently out of the running for a spot in the Big Ten for the moment, met behind closed doors for the fourth time in as many days.

• The NCAA said in a statement that it was staying out of the conference maneuvering. The statement from interim president Jim Isch read, in part:

"(T)here is neither historical precedent nor legislative authority for the NCAA to be involved in conference matters such as these. Realignment and conference expansion is solely between the individual institutions and the conferences. … This same philosophy was exhibited in the last round of major conference movement seven years ago when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left the Big East for the ACC and set off a chain of movement that affected four other conferences."

One end product of that round of changes was USF's move from Conference USA to the Big East.

Big 12 boss tries to salvage league 06/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 1:29am]
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