Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, after spending the past few weeks negotiating possible additions of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech, issued a press release stating that his league members have voted not to expand.
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.
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. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.
The decision appears to deny the Sooners and Cowboys their preferred destination and breathe new life into the Big 12. It also staves off the advent of the super conference for at least a few more weeks.
Texas A&M still appears very likely headed to the SEC and figures to be happy with the Pac-12’s decision, as it reduces the possibility that Big 12 schools like Baylor pursue legal action against the Aggies and the SEC.
While the decision appears to be a positive for those hoping that the Big 12 stays together in some form, OU said earlier on Tuesday that they are only interested in remaining in the conference if certain dynamics change. Among those appear to be even revenue across the league, changes to the Longhorn Network, and the resignation of commissioner Dan Beebe.
None of those figure to make Texas happy, as their revenue streams and the unfettered existence of the network appeared to be the Longhorns’ major motivations for keeping the conference together.