More USF-Big 12 promotional materials unveiled (UPDATED)

A quintet of USF officials made a formal slide/video presentation to the Big 12 last week in Dallas.
A quintet of USF officials made a formal slide/video presentation to the Big 12 last week in Dallas.
Published Sept. 16, 2016

A large portion of the USF promotional items presented by school officials to the Big 12 last week were unveiled on social media Wednesday evening. first released the items -- which include three videos -- via Twitter. USF formally released the material Thursday following a Tampa Bay Times public-records request.

USF was among the last of 11 expansion candidates to make formal presentations to the Big 12 in Dallas.

The first slide in a 28-slide presentation -- entitled "A New Partnership" -- seems to indicate the formal presenters were President Dr. Judy Genshaft, athletic director Mark Harlan, USF general counsel Gerard Solis, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and USF Board of Trustees chair Brian Lamb.

Vinik also appears in a video that includes Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, former New York Yankees/Jefferson High star Tino Martinez, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Lee Roy Selmon Jr., among other local dignitaries.

"We get a lot of athletic talent that comes to USF," Selmon Jr., a former Bulls defensive lineman, says in the three-minute, 20-second video. "And we would bring a keen amount of athleticism and electricity to the conference."

Another video showcases the Bulls' athletic facilities, starting with the Pam and Les Muma Basketball Center and the Sun Dome. The materials indicate more than $170 million has been invested in new and renovated facilities in the last seven years.

"USF is definitely ready," Martinez says in the video.

A third video, prominently featuring Genshaft and focusing on USF's evolution to emerging preeminence status, can be seen here.

The color slides highlight USF's academic status and the size of the bay area media market, among other attributes. Tampa has the nation's 11th-largest market according to Nielsen, but another slide, featuring USF and UCF logos, hail the "I-4 Super Region" as the "fourth-largest media market."

Academically, the most compelling slide indicates USF would rank second among current Big 12 schools in federal and total research expenditures, and third in faculty citations and postdoctoral appointees.

The slide presentation also hails USF as a top-25 public research university (by the National Science Foundation) with more than $458 million in sponsored research. It indicates the school currently has 50,000 students in its system and 160,000 alumni in the Tampa Bay region.

The school's 46-page Research Strategic Plan also was presented. So was USF's five-page, data-driven Case Statement for Big 12 inclusion and the Bulls' five-year athletics strategic plan.

Question now is, will USF's efforts -- or the efforts of any expansion candidate -- be fruitful or futile?

The Big 12 board of directors voted unanimously in July to authorize Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to explore possible expansion candidates. Since then, speculation has run amok about whether the 10-team conference would grow by two or four teams, or not expand at all.

On Wednesday, Oklahoma president David Boren told reporters at OU's Board of Regents meeting expansion isn't a done deal.

"I'm not saying there won't be expansion," Boren said. "But I'm not saying it can be automatically assumed that there will be expansion."