Big 12, like 'Humpty-Dumpty,' close to being put together again

According to sources, it appears the Big 12 is going to survive with 10 teams. According to the source, the big-ticket items are a done deal and the teams are just working through the 'small things'
BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Modified: June 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm •  Published: June 14, 2010
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The Big 12 South exodus to the Pac-10 appears dead. Multiple sources told The Oklahoman today that the Big 12 is close to announcing a new commitment to a 10-team league.

“There’s a willingness to put it together on everybody’s part,” said a Big 12 source. Discussions are “still going on, but more small things than really big items. Everybody understands it’s not a short-term deal.”

A Big 12 source who hoped his or her school would make the jump to the Pac-10 said, “I’m afraid it has come untracked. Looks like it has passed us by.”

OU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M were invited to the Pac-10 over the weekend. Colorado accepted an invitation to the Pac-10 last week and Nebraska bolted for the Big Ten, leaving the Big 12 with 10 schools.

In the last two days, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe put together a television-contract proposal that would net each Big 12 school at least $14 million and as much as $20 million per year for heavyweights Texas and Oklahoma. Additionally, each school would be allowed to pursue its own network, which could reap even more money for the Sooners and Longhorns.

The only apparent sticking point could be Texas A&M, which has become infatuated with the Southeastern Conference in the last few days. The proposed deal is for a 10-team conference. If A&M was able to defect to the SEC — it’s not clear that Texas politicians now would allow it, with UT set to remain in the Big 12 — then the Pac-10 possibility would return.

“If Texas A&M wants to be in control, they’re in control,” the Big 12 source said.

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