Thursday, June 3, 2010
Little is clear at Big 12 meetings
By David Ubben
KANSAS CITY -- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe took one route, outrunning the gaggle of cameras and microphones into a hotel elevator. Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn went another without answering a question. But reached on his cell phone by the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo, it was Bohn's brief words that made the biggest splash at the close of the Big 12 spring meetings' third day.
"The longer that we were together in Kansas City it appeared that that rumor or speculation did have some validity to it," Bohn said, lending credence to an earlier report from Texas' Rivals.com website Orangebloods.com that said five South schools -- minus Baylor -- and Colorado were being targeted by the Pac-10 for a group invitation.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott swiftly issued a statement shooting down the report.
"We have not developed any definitive plans. We have not extended any invitations for expansion and we do not anticipate any such decisions in the near term," Scott said in the release.
But truth or fiction, one thing is clear: Thursday did not go as planned for the first day of meetings with university heads. Beebe emerged after 10 hours of meetings with plans to deviate from the day's schedule, canceling a post-meeting Q&A with reporters alongside University of Texas president William Powers, who is also the chairman of the conference's board of directors.
But other than the general, vague conflicts foreshadowed in earlier comments by Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, the why is unknown.
The only thing that's clear is that nothing is clear. A unified front and clear consensus would have made answering questions a reasonably simple exercise for two men with backgrounds in law. But that front never materialized on Thursday, leading to the postponement of Powers' and Beebe's comments until late Friday morning.
And the reports about the Pac-10's shockingly proactive move -- which sounds far closer to a possibility than a probability -- obviously contributed to that delay.
The only people sleeping in Kansas City tonight with an idea of how close -- or how far -- that consensus is from forming spent the day inside the meeting room. And even they might not know.
But no one outside the room knows, and there's no promise that will change after Friday.