AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — University of Texas President William Powers said Wednesday that creating stability is the top priority for the Big 12 and suggested Texas is open to a new revenue-sharing model.
A day after the Pac-12 said it had no plans to add any Big 12 members, Powers said one way to build stability is to restructure media contracts and Texas will work toward that.
"There are methods of doing that, including the way media deals are structured and we'll be working with our partners in the Big 12 and our media partners to structure something that has stability," Powers told reporters at the state Capitol.
When pressed on the prospect of revenue sharing, Powers said: "We are open to every idea ... We've never said that's off the table."
However, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds may not be as open to the idea. According to a Twitter post by San Antonio Express-News writer Mike Finger, Dodds said the Big 12 will share first and second-tier TV rights equally. But Dodds said sharing Longhorn Network revenue is “non-negotiable.”
The Big 12 agreed to a 13-year television deal with Fox Sports in April worth more than $1 billion. Texas gets a larger share of league media revenue from television contracts than some of the other Big 12 members. The Longhorns signed a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN in January to create the Longhorn Network that launched several weeks ago.
The network created uncertainty in the Big 12 and Texas A&M said it was a big reason why the Aggies will leave the Big 12 by July for the Southeastern Conference if legal issues can be cleared up.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne earlier this month said the Big 12's revenue-sharing plan lends itself to instability as the Huskers opened their first season in the Big Ten. Each Big Ten school received $22.6 million this year — about twice as much as Nebraska could have expected if it had stayed in the Big 12.
Powers said all issues are subject to discussion when talking with other Big 12 schools in the next few days.
"A lot of these issues that you hear (about) whether its revenue sharing or whatever, we've been working on long before," he said. "We will continue to work on those. I'm not going to prejudge on how those will come out. There are not any preconditions for the conference coming back together.
"We want a stable, workable conference going forward," Powers said.