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Berry Tramel: Revenue-sharing inequity helps keep Texas in Big 12

by Berry Tramel Published: February 22, 2010
/articleid/3441268/1/pictures/861172">Photo - Texas is staying in the Big 12 because the conference does not share revenue equally among all schools. AP PHOTO
Texas is staying in the Big 12 because the conference does not share revenue equally among all schools. AP PHOTO
"But what’s better for the league? It’s to provide everybody an equal share,” Alden said.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said the conference last discussed the issue in May 2008, his first year at the helm.

Beebe makes a good case for both sides.

"When you get to the board (presidents) level, there’s a lot of consideration for how the conference was formed,” Beebe said. "It was very carefully negotiated. There was a feeling that changing was reneging on what was decided.

"By certain institutions agreeing to come together, all boats have risen. You are better off than where you would have been had this league not been formed.”

In other words, Texas and Oklahoma have made money for Iowa State and Baylor, and just because it’s not as much money as Texas and Oklahoma have made for themselves is beside the point.

But Holder and others have championed lifting all conference schools, and Beebe sees that side, too. He points out what long has griped me, that some television appearances are based not on attractiveness of the matchup, but simply on name appeal.

"That’s something I specifically pointed out, that selection of a game isn’t based on success or strength that a game may have, but how many eyeballs they can bring,” Beebe said.

Is that fair? No. They don’t do it for fair. Life’s not fair. Collegiate sports is big business. Real big business.

Texas, and Oklahoma, and most everyone else, looked out for itself 15 years ago and looks out for itself today. Turns out, the lack of equitable-revenue sharing, which helped put the league together, is helping it stay together.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist and Reporter
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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