Don't count out Louisville to Big 12 just yet

by Berry Tramel Published: October 30, 2011
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So I would invite Louisville quickly, and some in the conference agree, no matter what Neinas says.

The interim commissioner seemed to bring some stability to the conference when he arrived a few weeks ago. But last week was a total mess.

An invitation to West Virginia, then rescinded. Then the invite restored, a couple of days later. From what I know, Neinas wasn't culpable. Sounds like presidential meddling.

But then the Big 12 put out a press release that basically said Missouri was gone, when Mizzou hasn't bolted yet. And then Neinas said the Big 12 hadn't even discussed the idea of returning to 12 teams, which is pure nonsense.

Not only have presidents of several universities — including David Boren and Burns Hargis — publicly stated their preference for 12 schools, sources say the idea has been bantered about on the expansion committee.

To say otherwise means Neinas is either confused or, even worse, a Texas puppet, since DeLoss Dodds is a member of the 10-team party.

Nothing against Dodds or his preference. But when the commissioner erroneously declares the Big 12's position, there's a problem.

The Big 12 managed to turn what should have been a celebration moment – West Virginia coming in – into another league embarrassment. The Big 12 pitted schools from another conference against each other. That's bad form.

The best way for this league to restore its tattered image is do what it's done this autumn. Win a bunch of football games. But the next-best way is to adequately replace the quality programs that have departed.

West Virginia qualifies. So does Louisville.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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