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Big 12 ditches commissioner, pledges unity

Big night: Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead, who runs for 167 yards and scores two touchdowns, looks for running room during a 44-14 win over N.C. State.

Associated Press

Big night: Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead, who runs for 167 yards and scores two touchdowns, looks for running room during a 44-14 win over N.C. State.

Saturday's games on TV/Radio
SMU at Memphis noon FSN
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh noon Ch. 28; 1010-AM
Central Michigan at Michigan State noon ESPNU
North Carolina at Georgia Tech noon ESPN
Eastern Michigan at Penn State noon ESPN2
Cornell at Yale noon Versus
San Diego State at Michigan noon Big Ten 1
Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa noon Big Ten 2
Toledo at Syracuse noon BHSN
Georgia at Mississippi 12:30 p.m. Ch. 38
Temple at Maryland 12:30 p.m. Ch. 44
Arkansas at Alabama 3:30 p.m. Ch. 10
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M 3:30 p.m. Ch. 28
Southern Miss at Virginia 3:30 p.m. Sun Sports
Cal at Washington 3:30 p.m. FSN
Kansas State at Miami 3:30 p.m. ESPNU; 1470-AM
Florida State at Clemson 3:30 p.m. ESPN; 820-AM
Colorado at Ohio State 3:30 p.m. ESPN2
Virginia Tech at Marshall 3:30 p.m. CBSSN
South Dakota at Wisconsin 3:30 p.m. Big Ten 1
Western Michigan at Illinois 3:30 p.m. Big Ten 2
Florida A&M vs. Southern 3:30 p.m. Versus
Connecticut at Buffalo 6 p.m. BHSN
Texas-El Paso at USF 7 p.m. 970-AM
Florida at Kentucky 7 p.m. ESPN; 1250-AM
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State 7 p.m. ESPNU
Florida Atlantic at Auburn 7 p.m. Sun Sports
Vanderbilt at South Carolina 7 p.m. ESPN2
North Dakota State at Minnesota 7 p.m. Big Ten 1
Nebraska at Wyoming 7:30 p.m. Versus
LSU at West Virginia 8 p.m. Ch. 28
Tulsa at Boise State 8 p.m. CBSSN
Missouri at Oklahoma 8 p.m. FX
Missouri at Oklahoma (in progress) 9 p.m. 1010-AM
USC at Arizona State 10:15 p.m. ESPN
Oregon at Arizona 10:15 p.m. ESPN2
Oregon at Arizona (in progress) 11 p.m. 1010-AM
Howard at Morgan State (taped) 10:30 p.m. ESPNU

The Big 12 dumped its commissioner and said its nine schools have pledged to give their TV money to the conference for the next six years, a step intended to preserve a fractured league.

"The bottom line is we achieved substantial reforms," Oklahoma president David Boren said after school presidents met by telephone for about an hour Thursday. "We feel extremely good."

Boren said an expansion committee had been restarted but offered no details or time line. Among the schools linked to the Big 12 is BYU, which is in its first season as an independent.

Dan Beebe is gone as commissioner after five years that included securing a 13-year, $1.2 billion contract with Fox Sports but criticism for not keeping Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) from leaving last year. Texas A&M plans to leave for the SEC by July.

"I put all my effort into doing what was best for the Big 12," Beebe said in a statement released by the league. "With great fondness, I wish the Big 12 conference a long and prosperous future."

Chuck Neinas, a former Big Eight commissioner, will serve as interim commissioner.

Revenue sharing and a change of leadership were considered by some schools, notably Oklahoma, as the top issues to address to save the league in the latest round of realignment.

The Big 12 splits revenue from its Fox Sports contract evenly. But currently, only half the money from ABC/ESPN goes into equal shares. The rest is weighted toward the programs that play on the networks most. Under the new agreement, money from ABC/ESPN would be divided equally.

Some schools must get the approval of governing boards. But if approved, schools that leave the Big 12 would leave six years' worth of TV money behind.

"These are very strong handcuffs," Boren said.

Meanwhile, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton pledged the school's commitment to the league at a news conference in Columbia. The Kansas City Star reported the school had an offer to join the SEC if the Big 12 broke up.

Not addressed Thursday were issues surrounding Texas, which along with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech considered a move to the Pac-12 until that league announced it would not expand. The Longhorns previously said it wouldn't change its $300 million, 20-year contract with ESPN for their Longhorn Network. Texas officials were not available for comment.

Beebe, who signed a three-year extension last year, became a target for schools upset about instability in the league. According to several media reports, Oklahoma said it would not stay in the league if he stayed in charge.

"I have no negative personal feelings toward our previous commissioner," Boren said. "But I'm alarmed by the fact that in 15 months, we lost three teams. And I'm aware in detail in how some of those situations played out. I don't feel it was inevitable that we lost those three teams."

Critics portrayed Beebe as being outmaneuvered by other league commissioners as they picked off his teams one by one and as someone beholden to Texas, the Big 12's biggest and wealthiest member.

Big East: The Sporting News reported some schools want Pittsburgh and Syracuse to leave for the ACC as soon as possible. Commissioner John Marinatto, who was unavailable for comment, previously said he would hold the schools to the 27-month time frame for exit mandated by the league charter.

Arkansas: Linebacker Jake Bequette will sit out Saturday against Alabama with a hamstring injury. Last season's sack leader also sat out last week.

Northwestern: Quarterback Dan Persa is expected to play in the Wildcats' next game, Oct. 1 against Illinois. He has been rehabilitating a ruptured Achilles' tendon sustained last season.

Ohio St.: Freshman Braxton Miller will start at quarterback Saturday against Colorado. Senior Joe Bauserman started the first three games. In Saturday's 24-6 loss to Miami, the two combined to go 4-of-18 for 35 yards and an interception by Miller. All four completions went to running backs.

Va. Tech: Top receiver Jarrett Boykin will sit out Saturday's game at Marshall. The school said only Boykin hurt a hamstring during practice this week.

Cincy routs N.C. State

CINCINNATI — Zach Collaros ran for two touchdowns and threw for two to lead Cincinnati past N.C. State 44-14. The Bearcats (3-1) scored against the Wolfpack (2-2) on three consecutive possessions for a 21-0 lead. Two touchdowns were set up by interceptions. UC has eight INTs in four games and has scored after 13 of its 16 forced turnovers.

Women's soccer: USF gets tie with national champs

TAMPA — Valorie O'Brien scored on a header in the 86th minute to help USF earn a 1-1 tie against Notre Dame, the defending national champions in front of 1,124 at Corbett Soccer Stadium.

The Irish (4-4-2) scored in the 27th minute. But Demi Stokes sent a cross into the middle to O'Brien for the first goal USF (4-3-3) has scored in four games against Notre Dame. Two 10-minute overtimes failed to break the tie.

Big 12 ditches commissioner, pledges unity 09/22/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 23, 2011 12:29am]
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