Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Big 12 boss Beebe pleased with outcome
By Jeff Caplan
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe conducted a 45-minute teleconference Tuesday morning to discuss issues surrounding the survival of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.
At the moment, nine teams have committed to the league. Texas Tech is the lone school that has not, but is expected to once its board of regents meet this afternoon.
Beebe concluded the teleconference by saying: "We've landed in a good place, not just for the Big 12, but for all collegiate athletics, in my opinion."
Here are a few points of interest:
*Beebe said the Big 12 did not extend its current television deal or agree to a future deal, but rather was given indications by networks and analysts of future: "We had extremely strong verification, based on analysis by our consultants and others, and media companies themselves, that we are in a tremendous position to execute future agreements that will put our member institutions on par with any in the country, so based on that and that information and that verification, I think that solidified in a lot of our member institutions' minds the future of the conference."
Also on the TV front, Fox is not in position to begin televising a national over-the-air game of the week. The Big 12's current deal with ESPN/ABC continues through 2015-16: "During negotiations for the future of that in 2015, we will consider any of the competitors. I had a great relationship with the Fox broadcast people through my association with the BCS when they had the BCS contract. We love the ABC and Disney family, but we understand and are appreciate, even hopeful, of competitors being in the marketplace when our rights become due. And certainly, the projection is that there's a high level of interest, not only by Fox and ABC, but by other media companies for broadcast rights as we go forward. We're very excited that that level of interest will drive the rights fees up like it did in the recent ACC negotiations."
*The Big 12 will not look to expand because the member schools appear to like the 10-team format that would produce a nine-game conference football schedule and an 18-game round-robin schedule in basketball, which allows a team like Kansas to visit all the conference teams each year: "The 10 that are remaining, now that we have it, there are a lot of positive feelings about having 10...We're not looking to expand at all and certainly we wouldn't look to expand with any institutions that are in our geographic five-state area now. So, we're very comfortable with where we are. There's no interest in having an expansion review at this point and I don't think it's going to come in the future."
*The Big 12 will likely not look into staging a football championship game: "We can petition, I know my colleagues would support having less than 12 members and still having a championship. I'm not sure if we're going to do that or not. I think there's a lot of benefits to having the nine-game schedule scheduling out to that weekend in December where you can get a lot of exposure and also not have the potential to knock off a team that could be headed to the national championship in a championship game. We'll have some meetings coming up to decide how we want to structure it."
*On whether the conference would seek a new name, Beebe said he didn't know and wouldn't speculate before discussing with the conference members.