Once-divided Big 12 all lovey-dovey since Nebraska's departure

The 10 remaining Big 12 schools stand arm in arm and even voted in equitable revenue-sharing for the conference's new Fox contract.
by Berry Tramel Published: June 24, 2011

So it's not a stretch to imagine a stress-free meeting room when Big 12 athletic directors meet. Did you ever lose a cantankerous co-worker? Makes going to work a whole lot more enjoyable.

For years, some Big 12 leaders — Oklahoma State's Mike Holder, Beebe himself — fought for equitable revenue sharing. Holder's mantra was echoed by Baylor's McCaw: “I feel that you're only as strong as your weakest link.”

That point finally hit home in the revenue-sharing. The new Fox deal will be split evenly, and 76 percent of the current ABC contract will be shared equally.

Part of the Big 12's money was set aside for teams that appeared more on television or moved games around to accommodate TV. OU's Joe Castiglione said athletic directors decided that instead of a system with so much minutia — this team was on this network, this team was on that network — “it just seemed we were going to be closer to revenue sharing anyway. Why not just make the decision to share it all?”

What exactly led to the vote? The kumbaya spirit or the newfound riches of the $1.17 billion Fox contract?

“Yes and yes,” Castiglione said.

Maybe the new Longhorn network helped, too. Armed with what it really wanted — its own network for events not on the conference television packages — maybe Texas was in a more cooperative spirit.

Sure, it all means more money for Texas. But it means more money for everyone, and the Longhorns always are going to grow money on trees, so why get upset about it?

That school that left the Big 12 did get upset about it. The schools that remain did not. And now everyone in the league smiles on their brother.

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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