NEW YORK (AP) - Twelve is enough for the Pac-12, putting the Big 12 in position to survive yet another round of conference realignment.
The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors decided late Tuesday night not to expand.
“After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference,” Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve.”
Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were considering a potential move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12. After expanding from the Pac-10 with new members Utah and Colorado last year, members of the new Pac-12 decided not to stretch the league farther east.
“We were not surprised by the Pac 12’s decision to not expand at this time,” Oklahoma President David Boren said. “Even though we had decided not to apply for membership this year, we have developed a positive relationship with the leadership of the conference and we have kept them informed of the progress we’ve been making to gain agreement from the Big 12 for changes which will make the conference more stable in the future.
“Conference stability has been our first goal and we look forward to achieving that goal through continued membership in the Big 12 Conference.”
Meanwhile, across the county in New York, Big East Commissioner John Marinatto emerged from a three-hour meeting with officials from the league’s football schools to say his members “pledged to each other that they are committed to move forward together.”
The Big East also has been staring at an uncertain future after Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced last weekend they are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But now it appears the Big East, like the Big 12, stands a good chance to survive, too _ for now.
Marinatto said all the league’s members _ including Notre Dame and the seven other non-football members _ are committed to aggressively recruiting replacements for Syracuse and Pittsburgh, though he would not indicate which schools are candidates.
He said the league will enforce the 27-month notice agreement in its bylaws and not allow Syracuse and Pitt to leave until the 2014-15 academic year.
He also said he expects TCU to join the league in 2012 as previously agreed upon.
As for the Big 12, the board of regents at Texas and Oklahoma voted to give their presidents the right to choose a new conference. Oklahoma State’s regents have scheduled a special meeting Wednesday about conference realignment.
Oklahoma State was going to follow Oklahoma’s lead and Texas Tech planned to do the same with Texas.
Texas and Oklahoma were not acting together. Texas officials had stated several times it wanted to keep the Big 12 alive.View Entire Story
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