Pac 12 puts expansion on hold
For Oklahoma, a Pac 12 invitation may come later, but definitely not sooner.
Speaking in behalf of Pac 12 presidents, Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement that puts an end to the latest expansion rumors.
“After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve.
The announcement came in response to recent inquiries by Big XII members seeking new homes. Texas and Oklahoma were among those schools seeking stability elsewhere, after Texas A&M’s aggressive pursuit of a new destination provided further evidence of a conference unraveling. Nebraska and Colorado made their departure last year, reducing the Big XII to ten members. The Aggies now await a formal invitation from the SEC, as it attempts to escape the inequities of its current league.
The saying is “Don’t mess with Texas”, but realistically, it is Texas that created this mess. The Longhorns have been the beneficiary of the conference’s unequal revenue share, and only to make matters worse, the launch of its new network assures more exposure and profit for burnt orange pockets, while the remaining members stare at the little in theirs.
The Pac 12 was chosen by several of the current membership as an escape valve, since the league earlier this year toyed with the idea of an expansion that would allow growth from twelve to as many as sixteen. The Big XII was the primary target for poaching, with numbers decreasing and Pacific interest peaked. Parties representing the Pac 12 and individual Big XII programs engaged in discussions that eventually went stale. But the talk was recently revived, with Oklahoma leading the way, until the Pac 12 officially closed the door to expansion on Tuesday.