Big 12: Brady Deaton

Lunch links: Missouri's SEC plans are firm

December, 15, 2011
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Believe it or not, bowl season kicks off in two days. Granted, it's 11 more days before the Big 12 begins play.

Big 12 commish: Mizzou making a mistake

November, 6, 2011
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Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas says Missouri's move to the SEC is the wrong one.

"The decision by the University of Missouri to leave the Big 12 Conference is disappointing," Neinas said in a statement. "Mizzou has been a valuable member, with a Conference connection to schools in the Big 12 that dates back to 1907. I personally believe this decision is a mistake and that Missouri is a better fit in the Big 12. Once we have received a formal notice of withdrawal from Missouri, we will furnish it to our Board of Directors. The Board will review the situation and take appropriate action."

Interesting that Missouri didn't formally withdraw from the conference before announcing the move to the SEC, too.

Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin released a statement Sunday, too.

"We are pleased that Missouri will be joining Texas A&M in the SEC — the nation's preeminent athletic conference — next season," Loftin said in the statement. "Like Texas A&M, Missouri is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is a great addition to the SEC in terms of academics, geography, a passionate fan base, and a well-rounded athletic program. I have had numerous conversations with Chancellor Deaton over the past several months, and I know he approached this decision deliberately and methodically as he acted in the best long-term interests of his fine institution. We are excited about what the future holds for both the Aggies and the Tigers as members of the SEC."

Missouri's move to the SEC is official

November, 6, 2011
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Missouri will join the SEC and plans to be the conference's 14th member in the 2012-13 academic year, according to a Sunday morning announcement.

"I am pleased to officially welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC family on behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in the news release. "Missouri is an outstanding academic institution with a strong athletic program. We look forward to having the Tigers compete in our league starting in 2012."

But could hurdles to making that happen still lie ahead? West Virginia and the Big 12 announced their plans for the Mountaineers to join the league in 2012, but the school and the Big East are currently embroiled in dueling suits over the league's 27-month notice required in Big East bylaws.

From our news story: "A source recently told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that Missouri could have trouble getting out of the Big 12 because the league isn't sure if it can get the Mountaineers in from the Big East next season."

The Big 12 is required to have 10 members to fulfill its television contract.

Missouri and the SEC plan to have a public celebration and news conference on Sunday afternoon in Columbia.

"The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri," school chancellor Brady J. Deaton said in the SEC statement. "In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success."

Missouri's entrance also gives the SEC a fourth Association of American Universities member, joining Texas A&M, Florida and Vanderbilt.

Lunch links: Notre Dame to the Big 12?

October, 25, 2011
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Spatula City: We sell spatulas ... and that's all!

No Big 12 withdrawal for Mizzou

October, 24, 2011
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The Big 12's board of directors met on Monday, but Missouri did not express its desire to withdraw from the Big 12.

The news was a mild surprise since Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was expected to use the opportunity to inform the rest of the conference of the school's planned departure. Deaton was given the power last week to make decisions on the future of the university's athletic program. An excerpt from the ESPN.com item:
Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told the Kansas City Star that Missouri did not submit a letter of conditional withdrawal or notify the Big 12 that it planned to leave.

"The conference encouraged Missouri to stay in the Big 12," Neinas said, according to the report.

And in a news release, the Big 12 said "a strong desire for the University of Missouri to maintain its Big 12 affiliation was expressed" at the meeting.

The Tigers' expected departure for the Southeastern Conference has been reported as "imminent and inevitable."

The league also discussed the possibility of a conference-wide network.

On Monday, the board reaffirmed a previous resolution in which the league's members pledged to grant their Tier I (over-the-air) and Tier II (cable) media rights to the Big 12.

Texas A&M announced it would leave the Big 12 to become the SEC's 13th member last month.

Last June, Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 for the Big Ten and Pac-12, respectively.

TCU expected to accept Big 12 offer

October, 6, 2011
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TCU's board of trustees is meeting on Thursday to vote on whether to accept an invitation from the Big 12, a source told ESPNDallas.com.

TCU is expected to accept the offer and could join as soon as the 2012 season.
"These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU," TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. said in a statement. "It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years. As always, we must consider what's best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12."

TCU said it would have no further comment on Thursday.

The Big 12's offer came on Thursday via a unanimous vote, but Missouri did not take part in the vote on the advice of legal counsel.

Missouri is currently exploring its conference options after authorizing chancellor Brady Deaton to act on behalf of the university in regards to conference affiliation, via a unanimous vote of Missouri's board of curators on Tuesday night.

Missouri preferred Big Ten over SEC

October, 5, 2011
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Missouri handed the right to negotiate and make decisions on behalf of the school's conference affiliation to chancellor Brady Deaton on Tuesday.

With that, it hopes to join the SEC. The conference, though, was Missouri's second choice behind the Big Ten. Remaining in the Big 12 was its last choice. The Big 12 which has lost three members in the last 15 months.
Missouri hoped to join the Big Ten last year but the league instead chose Nebraska. The university official said the Big Ten remains Missouri's top choice but that conference "has no interest."

"That's what's left," the official said, referring to the SEC.

The SEC's athletic directors met on Wednesday, but the possible addition of Missouri was not on the agenda, a source with direct knowledge of the meeting told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The meeting was called several weeks ago.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has not ruled out further expansion, and Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart has said the SEC will eventually add members.

Lunch links: DeLoss Dodds opens up

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
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So, wait ... there's a new Footloose remake, and this is ... not an SNL skit? Correct?

Mizzou takes next steps out of Big 12

October, 4, 2011
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Everything is far from official, but Missouri took another step away from the Big 12 at its board of curators meeting on Tuesday.

Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was given the "authority to take any and all action necessary to fully explore options to conference affiliation" for Missouri and its university system. The university's board of curators granted him the authority unanimously.

He also resigned his post as the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, notifying his colleagues of the decision earlier in the day. He did so to eliminate a conflict of interest and allow himself to focus "single-mindedly" on what was best for Mizzou.

Missouri says this is only an exploration of its conference affiliation, but Texas A&M and Oklahoma made the same moves earlier this fall.

Texas A&M left for the SEC. Oklahoma didn't when the Pac-12 announced it would not expand.

"Missouri is a member in good standing in the Big 12, and I anticipate [it] will continue to be a member of the Big 12," Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a statement on Tuesday.

Deaton plans to meet with his consultants to "explore the university's options."

"That will require analysis and discussion," Deaton said.

Missouri made it known that they didn't blame the Big 12 for demanding its members hand over its media rights for six years to ensure stability.

Mizzou has options. The Big 12 can't blame it for exploring them.

Notes from Neinas on Big 12 future

October, 3, 2011
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Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas met with the media on Monday via teleconference for 25 minutes to discuss the future of the league and its decision to share Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenue equally, pending a commitment of each school's media rights to the conference.

"I'm not objective on this, but in an objective view, I think this should be a positive sign for Missouri," Neinas said. "I do think that they'll consider what we're doing. We have some things in mind that I'm not prepared to reveal at this point, but we're working in a very positive way toward improving what is already a good conference.

Neinas continues to be confident Missouri will stay, but the school's board of curators has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday in St. Louis, and will speak with the media following its conclusion. The SEC's presidents will meet on Wednesday.

Neinas will travel to Missouri's campus later this week to speak with officials from Missouri.

"They have to look at not only what the future best interests are for the University of Missouri but for the state of Missouri. There's a lot to be considered, not only for the institution, but for the state," Neinas said.

He cited the school's rivalry with Kansas, which has stretched longer than a century. He also added that Kansas City, a home for many Missouri alums, is the home of the Big 12 Conference basketball tournament. He also expressed worry that Missouri fans' traditions of driving to games in the Big 12 would end if it left to play games in locales like Gainesville, Fla., Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Columbia, S.C.

"Missouri is Midwestern, not Southern," he said.

Missouri balancing both sides?

Despite rumors to the contrary last week, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton remains chair of the Big 12 board of directors and is on the five-man expansion committee along with Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, who serves as the chair. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis fill the committee.

On Sunday's conference call between the board of directors, though, Deaton recused himself from a part of the meeting at the advice of his legal counsel.

Neinas declined to detail the part of the meeting in which Deaton did not participate.

Expansion committee moves forward

The expansion committee has been reactivated after the drama surrounding Texas A&M's exit subsided, and will meet later this week.

Does Neinas have a sense that his conference knows who is on board and could make offers to others?

"That's a good question, and I think the answer is yes," he said.

The problem, though, seems to be that there is no consensus on how the Big 12 should expand. Neinas said there is still no strong sense of if the Big 12 should remain at nine, add one member to reach 10 or more to have 12, 14 or even 16 members.

Presumably, finding that consensus and recommending a move to the rest of the league's presidents is part of the expansion committee's job description.

Missouri's stance on Big 12 future

Missouri still hasn't said definitively what its plans are, but Neinas clarified a few stances on Monday.

The equal revenue sharing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 rights passed unanimously and had been something Missouri supported.

Neinas reiterated that the Tier 3 money will not be shared equally and didn't envision that changing.

"I don't know that there were specific changes that were put forward by Missouri," Neinas said. "Items regarding revenue sharing were on the agenda before I came. They're just being acted on."

Equal revenue sharing once schools commit

October, 3, 2011
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The most valuable revenue given to the Big 12 will be shared equally once teams commit to the Big 12, the conference announced on Monday.

That includes Tier 1 and Tier 2 media revenue, but Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said Monday that Tier 3 media rights and the revenue from them will remain with the schools.
The football and men's basketball revenue from Tier I (nationally televised games on ESPN/ABC/Fox) and Tier II (Big 12 network games, produced by ESPN Regional) contracts will take effect once each of the nine school commits to the grant of rights for at least six years.

Neinas said Monday that granting those media rights for longer than six years is an option that's been discussed and still on the table, but for now, schools must only commit rights for at least six years.
The previous distribution was based on television appearances, and thus a larger percentage for the teams being televised.
If all nine schools sign off on the agreement, it would end speculation that Missouri would bolt to the SEC.

Other conference revenue that will be shared equally includes money from the NCAA Tournament in basketball.

Tier 3 money includes media rights and revenue from the Longhorn Network, which is co-owned and operated by ESPN.

The motion was passed unanimously at a meeting of the Big 12 board of directors on Sunday. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton is the chairman of the board of directors.

Lots more on the blog later today from Neinas' session with the media this morning.
The Big 12 would like to do a lot in the near future.

It would like the nine remaining members to grant their media rights to the league, ensuring stability for at least six years. It would also like to expand, or at least formally explore expansion.

Neinas
Neinas
But for now, it still has to know, to borrow a phrase from former commissioner Dan Beebe, "who is on the plane."

For now, Missouri has offered no concrete guarantee that it won't be leaving for the SEC, but new commissioner Chuck Neinas is confident the Tigers are staying.

"We understand that relative to the grant of rights issue this matter has to be considered by the Missouri board of curators, and they will have an opportunity to review what the conference has accomplished, what we're doing and what we plan to do," Neinas told reporters on a conference call Wednesday night. "I think that once they have an opportunity to fully understand and comprehend what the conference is doing that they will agree that Missouri should continue to be a good member of the Big 12 Conference."

There's no timetable for the grant-of-rights proposal, considering each school has different requirements to do so, but Neinas discussed that and Missouri's future on Wednesday.
He also said he did not know of any offer to Missouri from another conference.

"I have not been contacted by anyone from the Southeastern Conference," he said.

Neinas suggested that Missouri would probably miss its century-old Border War football rivalry with Kansas and the opportunity to play its conference basketball tournament regularly in Kansas City, Mo., if it decided to switch leagues.

"So I think there's a lot to look at," Neinas said. "You know what happens is a pretty girl walks down the aisle and you say, 'Boy, I'd like to take her to the prom.' But there's also one who's tried and true and you know is going to be there."

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard told the Austin American-Statesman he "wouldn't say they are holding up (future plans)," and that he feels "strongly" they will stay in the league.

Neinas also added that his lack of knowledge of an offer from the SEC didn't mean Missouri didn't have one, but he's reiterated several times he feels Missouri will stay.

"There would be a problem of perception," Neinas said of the possibility of a fourth team leaving the Big 12 in 15 months. "We can build the house again with different pieces. I can tell you that there is no shortage of interest from schools exploring membership in this conference. But we want Missouri to continue to be a member of the Big 12."

One voice needed for Big 12's next step

September, 23, 2011
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The Big 12 tried to put on its Sunday best at its Thursday night Big 12 revival.

After it ended with everyone confused, it's clear that not much has changed.

There’s still fighting -- this time Missouri and Oklahoma sending mixed messages -- and Texas is sitting satisfied.

Thursday night, OU and Mizzou held simultaneous press conferences.

Oklahoma president David Boren said all remaining schools -- except for Texas A&M -- "agreed" to give a six-year grant of their first- and second-tier television rights to the Big 12. That means that all revenue from the top television games -- shown currently on networks owned by ABC/ESPN and Fox -- would continue to go to the Big 12 even if a school bolts to another league.

Signing over those rights would mean that Oklahoma, or any other school, would not be paid directly for media revenue, regardless of which conference it was in. The money would be paid to the Big 12. If a school left, the Big 12 would collect revenue from the new conference.

Money would then redistributed through the rest of the conference.

In short, the agreement would make Big 12 teams very attractive to the Big 12 -- and no one else.

[+] EnlargeDan Beebe
AP Photo/Cody DutyThe loss of Colorado, Nebraska and likely Texas A&M resulted in a loss in confidence with commissioner Dan Beebe.
Except that it hasn't happened yet.

While Boren trumpeted it as an agreement, Missouri said no such thing. A source later confirmed that "there was no agreement, only an agreement to work toward that as a potential outcome."

On Missouri's conference call, there were literally two voices speaking, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton first before wires were crossed and Boren blared above the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.

Boren and Deaton spoke simultaneously, drowning out their conflicting messages by coming together ... and forming unintelligible noise.

Boren said when he arrived to the podium at Norman that the league's conference call had ended just minutes earlier.

It was probably worth the extra time to get their stories straight before causing yet another black eye for the Big 12, which is trying to rebound from its second major crisis in 18 months.

Contrast that with the Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC. When was the last time Ohio State's decision-makers, Gene Smith or E. Gordon Gee, talked about anything publicly regarding conference alignment?

Each conference has a singular voice, a leader, a representative of the conference. Whatever the conference does, commissioners Jim Delany, Mike Slive and Larry Scott are the ones voicing it. They lead their conferences.

Dan Beebe never proved to be the leader the conference needed.

He was a good man in an unfortunate situation -- a near untenable one, really, considering what he had to deal with -- but a change was necessary.

Beebe ceded to Texas' desire to create its own network last summer. The Big 12 would have died without it, but ironically, it sparked Texas A&M's decision to apply to the SEC.

The departures of Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M, however, resulted in Beebe being seen as an ineffective leader, both inside and outside the conference.

[+] EnlargeTexas Longhorns flag
Harry How/Getty ImagesInterim commissioner Chuck Neinas will have to battle the perception that Texas runs the Big 12.
The Big 12 will have a new commissioner, and interim commissioner Chuck Neinas will have to battle the perception that Texas runs the league if the Big 12 wants to convince anyone it has any stability.

He'll also need to serve as the Big 12's voice if he wants to get anything done and move forward from Thursday's debacle.

The next step is painfully obvious. The Big 12 must have equal revenue sharing if it's going to move forward and not be seen as (or be) dysfunctional, which Thursday night's debacle proved.

Every other league shares its revenue equally. The past 18 months have provided a long enough case study to show that doing otherwise does not work.

Oklahoma made it clear that it's willing to sacrifice its bigger share to fight that battle.

"Would equal distribution mean a financial contribution for the good of the conference? Yes. Would we be willing to do so? Yes," Boren said.

On Wednesday, Dodds told reporters that Texas is committed to equal revenue sharing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 media rights.

But for now, forget revenue sharing, expansion, media rights or anything else on the horizon for the Big 12.

The conference won't move forward until it can settle its biggest and most difficult opponent: Itself.

What they're saying: Big 12 recommital

September, 23, 2011
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Last night wasn't a good one for the Big 12, but it's at least the start of a new chapter in realignment. All schools other than A&M committed to the Big 12 on a conference call Thursday evening but there was an apparent disagreement on how far talks went toward granting media rights to the conference, which would keep all nine teams in the league for at least six years, and likely longer.

Here's a collection of opinions from last night in the Big 12. Lots of great stuff from all over the place. Check it out.

The Big 12 is trying to secure itself, but for now, it's still a mess, writes SI.com's Andy Staples:
Boren and Deaton told two different stories Thursday. While they gave matching accounts of the ouster of Commissioner Dan Beebe -- more like a ritual sacrifice to the realignment gods -- they differed sharply in tone when it came to the key piece of legislation that could actually keep the league together for more than a few months.

...The security of the Big 12 boils down to this: If the schools sign that grant of rights deal, the league will stay together for at least as long as the deal is in place. If the schools don't sign that deal, we'll all be watching Realignmentpalooza again this time next year.

If the deal gets signed, the Big 12 will be able to lure either one or three more schools to join. If the deal doesn't get signed, it might be hard to find a decent school that wants to join a group that has created such a toxic atmosphere in recent years.

The Big 12 is committed, sure, but it may end up being a tense, forced commitment, writes Bryan D. Fischer of CBSSports.com.
Chaos? Nah. We're all one big happy family.

Texas is in. Oklahoma too. Missouri has helped lead the charge.

That's the message that came out of middle America Thursday night. The Big 12 was saved and nine teams are committed to the future. Things were different, it was time to move forward.

Despite the Sooners flirting with the Pac-12 and the Tigers with the SEC, everybody was staying put. The other Big 12 schools pledged solidarity led by the two schools who had explored leaving more than anyone.

But did Missouri commit? It looks like the door is still open to the SEC, writes Mike DeArmond of the Kansas City Star.
Not only did MU chancellor Brady Deaton and athletic director Mike Alden decline to confirm the university’s commitment in the long or short term to the Big 12, the Tigers’ interest in the Southeastern Conference is very much alive.

“We either stick in the Big 12 because everything came about the way it needs to, the right way, with all the differences being settled in Missouri’s favor,” a university administrator who asked not to be identified told The Star on Thursday night. “But what are the odds of that happening?

“The other option is to join another conference and I believe that is something that we’re very open to.”

Oklahoma is getting bopped again by Texas, but there's only one place the Sooners can strike back, writes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.
The Sooner masses, bloodied and bowed by yet another Longhorn stampede, need a little balm. A little salve. Need to be reminded of what's really important.

The crimson cladded need a victory in the Cotton Bowl in two weeks. By a resounding score, if possible.

That October Saturday is the only thing that saves the Sooners from the madness of being under DeLoss Dodds' thumb.

The Big 12 lives, and so does Texas' boardroom winning streak. Texas always wins in the boardroom.

Missouri definitely isn't leaving any doors shut just yet, writes Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
In a cramped Jesse Hall meeting room, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton left the door open for Missouri to saunter on out.

Fresh off a conference call in which the Big 12 board of directors agreed on several new measures, including the ouster of Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, Deaton talked a lot about the conference working to solve problems but stopped short of declaring unequivocal long-term commitment to the Big 12.

Asked if Missouri could change conferences if the Big 12’s problems are beyond repair, Deaton said, “That’s a hypothetical that could occur. In a sense, anything is possible.”

Oklahoma didn't win as handily as it thought it did, writes Travis Haney of The Oklahoman.
An early evening conference call with the league's leadership led to a news conference at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in which Boren declared “victory” for his school.

Multiple Big 12 sources said later, though, that the win was not quite as measurable as Boren told reporters.

Big 12 headed for binding TV rights

September, 22, 2011
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Lots to get to on the blog tonight.

First off, you can read our news story on tonight's news conference at Oklahoma. Here's an update of what was decided.

More on the way later tonight.

Big 12 headed for binding TV rights

The Big 12's presidents agreed to grant their television rights to the conference for six years, Oklahoma president David Boren said at a news conference on Thursday. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton said at a news conference also on Thursday night that the agreement was not official, and the league had agreed to pursue such binds.

A source at Missouri confirmed to ESPN.com that they were told "there was no agreement, only an agreement to work toward that as a potential outcome."

The Big 12 signed a 13-year, $1.1 billion deal with Fox Sports last summer for Tier 2 rights and the Tier 1 rights for ESPN/ABC are up for renewal in five years. By signing away the media rights to the conference, any team that left the conference during that period would offer no television revenue to a prospective new league. Any television revenue produced by that team would go to the Big 12.

"We felt that we needed a lot more than an expression of solidarity," Boren said, referencing "unequivocal commitments" that held the Big 12 together in 2010, when the Big 12 last faced near extinction. "It was a very important item to show we mean business about staying together."

Boren added: "That grant of rights really has teeth in it, because when you've granted your rights, it's very unlikely that a member would receive an invitation to another conference."

Texas A&M still headed to the SEC

Tonight's agreement has had no effect on the Texas A&M and its intended departure to the SEC.

Boren said Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was on the teleconference, but was careful to note that it was "highly likely" that the Aggies would continue to chart their intended course for the SEC. Boren also said the league would not give up on convincing Texas A&M to stay until the Aggies became official members of the SEC.

The league's presidents did not discuss waiving rights to legal action that would allow Texas A&M to continue with its intended move to the SEC after the conference's presidents voted to accept them on the condition that each Big 12 team waive those legal rights.

“Another key to Big 12 stability will be for the league to assist Texas A&M with our departure," Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook told the San Antonio Express-News.

New interim commissioner officially appointed

Dan Beebe is out, and Chuck Neinas is in. Neinas has dealt with scores of athletic departments around the country, and recommended more than half of the athletic directors in the Big 12 to the administrations in their current schools. Boren lauded Neinas as a figure respected around the country.

Neinas
Neinas
Neinas will take over only as interim commissioner, though. He is not a candidate for the permanent job, which may take a "few months" to fill, Boren said, though he established no concrete timeline for the hire.

"We needed someone to lead us through a healing process," Boren said of Neinas. "There's no one better to do that."

Expansion has been re-opened

While the Big 12 nearly broke apart, the efforts of an expansion committee were obviously halted. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds are on the committee, which has been re-activated.

The league doesn't know if it will expand to 10 or 12 teams, but will do its "due diligence" and is open to both.

I'd expect negotiations with BYU to be re-opened, and for the Big 12 to seriously talk with remaining teams in the Big East like West Virginia and Louisville, but also seriously talk to schools closer to the Big 12 footprint, like TCU or Houston.

Nothing's off the table yet, though. As it should be this early in the process.

Boren refused to name any names or publish any list of prospective members.

"We want anybody we look at for expansion to know they were our first choice," Boren said.

Big 12 committee formed

This is also an important development. Chairman of the board of directors Brady Deaton is putting together a "committee" to handle a variety of tasks facing the Big 12 currently.

For now, no change in revenue sharing has been enacted, but if it's going to happen, it will be explored by this committee.

Deaton is expected to put it together by the end of the day on Friday.

The league agreed not to air grievances with others in the league publicly, which is necessary for the appearance of stability. It also agreed that any disagreements would be settled privately through the multi-purpose committee that Boren called a "special working group."

Concessions by Texas and Oklahoma?

It's clear so far that Texas and Oklahoma have and are willing to give on some issues. Oklahoma got its wish with Beebe's ouster and a commitment with the media rights that would ensure stability, but Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told local media on Wednesday that he did not want to sign over media rights.

Judging by Boren's comments, that stance has softened. Maybe he was leveraged into it, or maybe it was a measure of good faith. Either way, it looked like it happened.

Oklahoma has also made it clear that it would not stand in the way of equal revenue sharing. The Sooners, as one of the Big 12's top earners, would get less money in that agreement.

"Would equal distribution mean a financial contribution for good of the conference? Yes. Would we be willing to do so? Yes," Boren said. "We would hope that wouldn’t occur overnight."

Boren said he hoped such a plan would be fazed in slowly.

As for Texas? Maybe we'll hear from them soon.

Lots more coming on the blog tonight. Stay tuned.

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