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Big Eight adds up to 12 as Texas schools join

The Big Eight Conference expanded to 12 teams Friday by adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor for the 1996-97 academic year.

The conference has not been renamed _ though Big 12 and Big 14 have been copyrighted by the league. The league also must consider realigning into divisions, holding a football playoff, adapting its basketball tournaments and the like.

"The addition of these four institutions to the Big Eight family will enhance the academic and athletic reputations of our conference," said Colorado Chancellor James Corbridge, the chairman of the Association of Big Eight Universities.

The move is an expansion, not a merger. The four incoming schools become subject to Big Eight rules and regulations, some of which, such as sharing athletic revenue, are far different from those of the Southwest Conference.

Texas and Texas Tech accepted the Big Eight invitation Friday in unanimous votes by their boards of regents. Baylor and Texas A&M voted to move earlier in the week.

In a Dallas news conference, SWC commissioner Steve Hatchell said Houston, Rice, Southern Methodist and Texas Christian intend to explore a new structure.


Big East: Conference chief executives and athletic directors decided to continue their study of expanding the conference after a one-day meeting.

Nebraska: Receivers coach Ron Brown said he will turn down a similar job at Florida State.

Notre Dame: Associate athletic director Missy Conboy said NCAA penalties are possible because All-America football players Jeff Burris and Bryant Young lived rent-free in an apartment.