Pac-12 Announces No Expansion For Now

Multiple sources have told Gopokes.com that the Big 12 is staying together and that a framework has been hammered out that will keep the nine remaining schools together to persevere in the conference.

This amid reports and a column earlier today in The Oklahoman that stated the Big 12 could, according to a source, stay together if Texas made certain agreements regarding the Longhorn Network that included revenue sharing and restrictions on programming that schools found to be too advantageous in recruiting. The other stipulation was the removal of Dan Beebe as Big 12 commissioner. One of our sources said that Beebe is indeed out. That source also said the league would have nine teams for now but would look to expand.

All of this comes amid other conferences swapping or swiping members from each other and schools looking on their own for new conference homes. On Monday Oklahoma and Texas each saw their board of regents vote to give their presidents power over making a conference move. Oklahoma State has a regents meeting scheduled on campus for 2 p.m. tomorrow to make the same move allowing President Burns Hargis to make any choice he deems appropriate in that area.

In another development, that may or may not be a shock to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, the Pac-12 Conference has come out publicly on Tuesday night and said they are not expanding. It is unclear if a vote was taken by current Pac-12 presidents or if there was simply discussion and that discussion made it a mute point to even vote. The other unclear news from the West Coast league was whether Larry Scott was endorsing additional schools in the conference but was trumped by his presidents.

Scott, a very proactive leader among conference commissioners, issued this statement.

"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. 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. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."

Now this could still be some legal posturing as everybody involved in conference realignment is scared of legal ramifications, but the story regarding the Big 12 could be the major reason for the Pac-12 backing away from expansion and not wanting to have "egg on the face" for the second year in a row. There is also strong talk that the conference and Scott could not come up with the needed nine schools that wanted to expand.

This is a issue that seemingly becomes wackier by the minute and is far from over at this point.


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