Big 12: Joe Castiglione

Big 12 lunchtime links

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
I just ordered this. You should, too.

Lunch links: Sooners leaning on excuses?

November, 2, 2012
You ought to read this just because.
The Big 12's spring meetings kicked off with the league's athletic directors meeting in Kansas City on Wednesday, and made it clear beforehand that expansion would be only informally discussed.

Still, the questions had to be asked, and they were answered. For now, the league is happy with 10 members, echoing its stance for the past few weeks.

Will anyone believe them? (Does it matter?)

"We could expand to some number. You name the number -- 12, 14, 16," Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told "We could expand, but the question is, do we need to expand?"

Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, in fact, made it simple.

"The Big 12, athletic directors reaffirmed their commitment to 10 members," he said.

For now, anyway. Florida State is still only flirting, but if the Seminoles make up their mind, the safe bet is that stance will change very quickly.

Until then ... here we are.

Playoffs were a hot topic, but the league's athletic directors reiterated what we essentially already knew: The Big 12 is in favor of a four-team playoff.

"We're in favor of taking the four highest-ranked teams," said Neinas, who has begun to transfer power to new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "We think it should be some type of selection committee operation, and how you rate a conference champion, strength of schedule must be included."

I love the selection committee idea personally, an idea reiterated by chairman of the league's athletic directors, Iowa State's Jamie Pollard.

The BCS has its flaws. That's obvious. The biggest flaw in piecing together a selection committee? How do you do it? How do you find panel members without bias? Is that possible? Do you copycat the NCAA's formula for the basketball tournament?

All difficult questions with answers to come.

"There needs to be a human element to kind of handle the unknowns. You can't always say computers get it right or opinion polls will get it perfect," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said. "You still need someone with good, rational thinking to deal with unforeseen circumstances that may come up.

"Who knows what form that takes, but some form of human element that gets college football to the point of determining the best teams."

Chalk me up on board with that.

Fun with Big 12 AD salaries!

May, 24, 2012
USA Today released its annual survey of athletic director salaries, noting that they're rising almost as fast as coaching salaries. How did the Big 12 stack up?

Here's how they ranked:
  • DeLoss Dodds, Texas: $1,095,756
  • Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma: $975,000
  • Bill Byrne, Texas A&M: $690,000
  • Mike Alden, Missouri: $659,775
  • Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech: $580,000
  • Jamie Pollard, Iowa State: $450,000
  • Sheahon Zenger, Kansas: $450,000
  • Ian McCaw, Baylor: $423,449
  • John Currie, Kansas State: $412,500
  • Mike Holder, Oklahoma State: $387,560

I kept old Big 12 schools in this list because they were in the Big 12 when these numbers were taken.

For the new schools?
  • Oliver Luck, West Virginia: $405,600
  • TCU's Chris Del Conte was paid $115,639 for a partial-year salary. He took over in October 2009, and his full salary was not available on public tax returns.

The most surprising name on the list was Mike Holder, who is at the bottom of the list, despite holding the position since 2005. Oklahoma State's not exactly starved for money these days, either.

Kansas State's John Currie is a newcomer to the job, and a first-time athletic director who has helped K-State become the most profitable athletic department in the country. You've got to expect a raise is coming his way, even though he had a high-profile gaffe when hoops coach Frank Martin exited stage right all the way to South Carolina.

Not surprising to see Texas and OU at the top, but that's a pretty big gap between Dodds, Castiglione and the rest of the league, especially now that Missouri and Texas A&M are gone.

Dodds is only the fourth-highest paid AD, behind Vanderbilt, Florida and Louisville's athletic directors.

What else stuck out to you?
Charlie Weis marched Justin McCay out alongside quarterback Dayne Crist at a news conference earlier this year. The two faces of KU's renewal under Weis sat and answered questions from the media about their road from blue-chip recruits who signed with traditional powers -- Crist with Notre Dame, McCay with Oklahoma -- before landing at Kansas.

Weis believed McCay would be given a waiver from the NCAA, and indicated as much repeatedly as the application process drew longer and longer. He believed it still after McCay's initial request was denied, but the Jayhawks were encouraged to appeal.

That's over now.

The NCAA Subcommittee for Legislative Relief denied McCay's appeal, and he'll be ineligible for 2012. He'll be a junior with two years of eligibility remaining in 2013.

"They informed our compliance officer that there wasn’t that one catastrophic event evident to rule in his favor," Weis said. "I’m extremely disappointed that common sense did not prevail. I have read all of the information on this case and it is a shame that this case resulted in a rejection. I cannot release all of the details of Justin’s case as it would be an invasion of his privacy. I can only say that the University of Kansas felt the evidence was overwhelmingly in his favor. I also do not understand why the NCAA had us appeal this case to the subcommittee only to have received the same answer with the same rationale."

Those are strong words from the head Jayhawk, but he clearly feels wronged by the NCAA. He wouldn't be the first one. Weis is a straight talker, but those kinds of comments -- especially in a prepared statement -- make it clear how strongly he disagreed with the decision.

You have to feel sorry for McCay, too, who came home to Kansas after two unproductive years at Oklahoma.

"Despite the disappointment I am feeling today, I have no regrets," McCay said in a statement.

He also thanked Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione by name.

"I am very happy to be at Kansas and I am going to go out and work hard every day to be the best teammate I can be. Even though I won’t be playing in games this year I am going to take advantage of every opportunity I have to improve as a player."

Tough result, but the Jayhawks will have to move on with experienced receivers Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears leading the way. Kale Pick also played well in Saturday's spring game.
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops admitted he has some concerns about OU’s 2012 non-conference schedule, as well as the conference schedule, should West Virginia not be added to the league before the season.

If West Virginia can’t leave, “then we have to deal with that,” Stoops said. “But I think the first issue that (athletic director Joe Castiglione) is trying to work out is just the early games, and who will play us. That's the other thing. It's hard to get anyone to come play us.”

If West Virginia is forced to stay in the Big East another year, the Big 12 will have to reconfigure its schedule for nine teams.

Because of realignment, the Sooners now have two open dates in the non-conference. The previously scheduled meeting with TCU became a conference game with the Horned Frogs’ admission to the Big 12.

OU’s lone remaining scheduled non-conference game is with Notre Dame. Stoops said the Sooners are trying to line up a pair of non-conference games for the early part of the season, since the Notre Dame game is scheduled for Oct. 27. So far, that’s been a challenge.

“I think (Castiglione) has done a masterful job of working the BCS and how we've scheduled to help us,” Stoops said. “Joe works hard at it. I've got a lot of confidence he's working it the best he can to help us and protect us that way. But believe me, in visiting with him, it's challenging.”

Stoops said that if West Virginia is added, the Mountaineers could slot into Missouri’s spot on the schedule, with TCU assuming Texas A&M’s.

Stoops said he believes the league can thrive with just 10 teams and no conference championship game because of what West Virginia and TCU bring to the table.

“Let's face it, this year, if you add TCU and West Virginia, two more ranked teams, we're not missing a whole lot,” Stoops said. “Look at the way the guys have been playing in the bowls. We're not taking a backseat to much here. But if everyone wants the conference (championship) game, and if we get two good football teams, that would be great. But I still think we've more than proven we're a lot to deal with, this league, without it.”

Lunch links: New bonds in SEC territory

November, 16, 2011
Do we really need another politician in Washington married to a pack animal?
Missouri has yet to officially apply for the SEC, although multiple reports on Saturday indicated that the Tigers would have the necessary votes to join the league's Eastern division.

If that happens, the Big 12 would like to move quickly to replace the Tigers, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione told SoonerNation on Saturday.
If Missouri leaves, Castiglione said the Big 12 has a "Plan A" and "Plan 1-A" but did not discuss specific teams outside of BYU. He also said he was hopeful Missouri would remain in the Big 12.

"I think our intent would be to move as quickly as we could," Castiglione said. "There may be other issues that hinder our ability to move as quick as we want. Behind the scenes we will be doing as much as we can as quick as we can to resolve it."

West Virginia is at the top of a list of possible replacements, a source told ESPN's Andy Katz. That's followed by BYU, Louisville and Cincinnati.

DeLoss Dodds: Big 12's highest-paid AD

October, 6, 2011
USA Today dug up the salaries for athletic directors at every FBS school, and in the Big 12, it's no surprise who came out on top.

Texas' DeLoss Dodds was one of six athletic directors making over $1 million.

Here's how the Big 12 ranked:

DeLoss Dodds, Texas: $1,095,756

Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma: $975,000

Bill Byrne, Texas A&M: $690,000

Mike Alden, Missouri: $659,775

Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech: $580,000

Jamie Pollard, Iowa State: $450,000

Sheahon Zenger, Kansas: $450,000

Ian McCaw, Baylor: $423, 449

John Currie, Kansas State: $412,500

Mike Holder, Oklahoma State: $387,560

Notes from Neinas on Big 12 future

October, 3, 2011

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."

More from OU's Big 12 press conference

September, 22, 2011
Lots of news from Oklahoma's press conference earlier today, but here are some of the other notes that didn't make the first update.

Oklahoma talks its conference shopping spree

Oklahoma president David Boren opened up about the Sooners' search for a conference, stating that a "stable Big 12" was the first choice, but they had conversations with the Pac-12.

The Sooners didn't use any outside sources for the search, and instead consulted with coach Bob Stoops and athletic director Joe Castiglione.

Stoops clearly had reservations about leaving for a league without Texas, but Boren said the Big 12 proved it could be stable and the Pac-12 and Oklahoma came to a near-simultaneous, "mutual" decision for Oklahoma not to join.

[+] EnlargeDavid Boren
AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinOklahoma president David Boren said the school looked at the Pac-12 but that a "stable Big 12" was the first choice.
"We achieved substantial reforms and we were able to make very important steps toward greater stability of the Big 12 Conference," Boren said.

I agree with that if the league can get the media rights turned over to the conference for six years, through the renewal of the league's Tier 1 rights in five years, but for now, that's not official. Oklahoma better make it so, because there's no question the wires were crossed regarding how far along that agreement was.

Will it happen? My guess is the Big 12 eventually gets this done, but Missouri, whose chancellor is the chair of the board of directors, wasn't exactly trumpeting the Big 12's stability like Boren was. Not a good sign, but time will tell how major of an issue this becomes.

Boren said the Big 12's nine presidents agreed that they were in the conference, but I'd hold off on declaring this league stable until the media rights are officially given to the Big 12. Texas and Oklahoma are ready to stay in the Big 12.

Is Missouri?

What school is running the Big 12?

Boren took exception to the idea that Texas had been "driving the train" in the Big 12 over the past year, until Oklahoma took over that role in the Pac-12 negotiations, but handed it back to Texas when the Pac-12 announced it would not expand.

Boren went on a measured, mini-rant that made a lot of good points. I'll let him explain.

"The University of Oklahoma does not have any ambition to drive the train anywhere. We have no desire to dominate the Big 12 Conference. None whatsoever. We have a very strong feeling that those conferences that have been the most stable are conferences in which every member feels valued equally," he said, later adding, "We don't want any one school dominating the Big 12 and we have no ambition to dominate the Big 12. ... All we wanted in this conference was stability so that we could concentrate on winning games and providing quality of life for our student athletes and not having drama every year."

He emphasized that more than just Texas and Oklahoma explored their conference options, and he knew of at least four, acknowledging that more might have done so, but he didn't know for sure.

"I hope no one will write in the future that anyone is driving the train in this conference. That's our goal," Boren said. "I don't care whether that's Texas driving this conference or Oklahoma driving this conference or Missouri driving this conference or Kansas with their basketball strength driving this conference. If we get to a situation where anybody drives this conference, then it would weaken us. Strong conferences are the conferences where there's a great amount of partnership and mutual respect and trust across the board."

Oklahoma, Texas still together, on and off the field

Bob Stoops reiterated his belief that the rivalry with Texas is important for the university, and that he didn't want it to go away, which it likely would have if the Sooners went to the Pac-12 without Texas.

For now, that game will remain at the Cotton Bowl, and Boren expressed a strong desire to keep it there.

As it should be. Texas and Oklahoma play that game every year, but the State Fair is what makes that game special. Moving it to JerryWorld would be a colossal mistake.

Big 12 headed for binding TV rights

September, 22, 2011
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 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 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.

Sooners make plans for Bradford statue

August, 30, 2011
Oklahoma is ready to install the next piece of Heisman Park outside the east stands of Owen Field.

Sam Bradford's statue, which was unveiled on May 14, will be erected on Wednesday with no formal ceremony, because Bradford is busy gearing up for his second season with the St. Louis Rams.

"Recognizing the statue of Heisman winner Sam Bradford was unveiled this past spring, we are excited for it to be placed alongside our other four winners," said Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione said in a release. "Unfortunately, our home schedule didn't coincide with Sam's, so we're moving ahead with plans to have it installed with the blessing of the Bradford family knowing that we'll hold a formal ceremony later."

Bradford became Oklahoma's fifth Heisman winner in 2008, when he threw for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns on 328-of-483 passing, leading the Sooners to the national title game.

A look inside the Big 12's new cash equality

June, 14, 2011
For the Big 12's entire 15-year history, it divvied up 57 percent of the conference's cash equally. The other 43 percent, however, was handed out according to a number of factors, most notably a program's television appearances.

However, at the end of the Big 12's annual meetings, a year after losing two members, it announced that 76 percent of its conference revenue would now be shared equally. (More on what that means here.)

Beebe isn't ready, considering the numerous variables, to venture a guess as to how far the gap will be from the top-earning to the bottom-earning team, but while the percentage of revenue shared equally rises, I'd expect the difference in actual dollars to remain somewhat constant.

So, instead of the $12 million versus $8 million we've seen in recent years, think somewhere along the lines of $22 million versus $17 million or more in the future.

"We’re going to have to see," Beebe told in a recent interview.

Now that all of the Big 12 home games will be televised, bonuses (or unit values, Beebe called them) will be given to teams who earn appearances on over-the-air television, like games on ABC or Fox versus Fox Sports Net, ESPN or FX.

"There were a number of appearances that Nebraska and Colorado had on ABC and where those appearances go will be interesting," he said. "Some schools like Texas and Oklahoma have already maxed out on the appearances, so they’re going to have to go to somewhere else, and those are the games that we pay, that we provide some money, some unit values, for getting on the broadcast."

The idea to amend the Big 12's policy began when the television negotiating committee recommended it to the rest of the conference. That group, which helped negotiate the recent contract with Fox, was made up of two presidents and three athletic directors across the Big 12. The committee members:
  • Iowa State president Greg Geoffroy
  • Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis
  • Missouri AD Mike Alden
  • Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione
  • Texas AD DeLoss Dodds

With a whole lot more money on the way, the league chose to reassess how it distributed its revenue.

"[The league's members] looked at all different models and decided this was the one that would best accommodate the conference," Beebe said.

The gap will be hard to project, specifically because nonconference schedules fluctuate from year to year, and some broadcasts aren't selected until the season begins, and are tallied up after the year.

Bowl expense reimbursements can also factor into the gap between the highest- and lowest-earning teams in the Big 12, Beebe said.

"It was unanimous; it sailed through pretty easily," Beebe said. "It’s another demonstration, like we’ve said about our television agreement and other things that we’re doing, of how solid this conference is, and how much their probably hasn’t been in the history of the conference, this type of unity and appreciation for each other."

Lunch links: Paul Rhoads to the Buckeyes?

June, 1, 2011
Dirk is about to have the most talked-about finger in Texas history.



Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
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Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
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Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12