Bill Snyder became a head coach at Kansas State back in 1989, before four Southwest Conference cast-offs joined the Big 8 to form the Big 12.
When the Big 12's first game ever kicked off in 1996, he was on the sideline across from Texas Tech's Spike Dykes, years before Mike Leach even arrived on the Plains.
As rumors of the Big 12's demise swirl, Snyder says calling it "disappointing" is an understatement, and says he's "disheartened" by recent developments.
"I just believe that it would be in the best interest of all to sit down and try to cast aside whatever petty jealousies exist and take a mature and adult approach to it and try to identify exactly what the problems are," Snyder said, taking a solemn tone throughout Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "I always relate it to family. I was in the Big 8 Conference, and the group of schools we’re with, we’ve been with them a long time and I have some dear friends -- not only football coaches but athletic directors and administrators across the board -- and there’s really some very, very quality people there who are very capable of sitting down and working things out in an appropriate way.
"It doesn’t sound like that’s the direction it’s going, but that’s certainly what I would like to see."
Snyder's comments are among the most critical of conference realignment to date. He suggested that disagreements, rather than result in defections, should result in mediation with concessions made by both sides and a recommittal to the Big 12.
"It’s about the capacity to come together and solve problems. There’s certainly some problems, but they’re solvable problems. All are," Snyder said. "Deal with it like families do. Families don’t disintegrate because there’s an issue. They sit down and try to solve problems, and I would like to see us have a mature approach to it and do exactly the same thing."