Big 12 votes to begin talks with TCU, extend grant of TV rights

Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 8:38 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — While Missouri explores joining another conference, the Big 12 is acting on options of its own.

Thursday, the Big 12 Conference board of directors made several decisions aimed at improving the future of the conference, which has appeared to be on its last legs at several points in the past few months.

The board unanimously authorized interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas to begin discussions and negotiations to bring Texas Christian University into the conference, according to a release from the Big 12.

TCU, located in Fort Worth, Texas, currently plays in the Mountain West Conference but is scheduled for a move to the Big East Conference at the beginning of next season. A change of conferences is nothing new for TCU, which has played as a member of three leagues since 1996. Jumping to the Big 12 would reunite the school with former members of the Southwest Conference: Baylor, Texas Tech and the University of Texas.

The Horned Frogs have seen some success in the past couple of football seasons, making a BCS bowl game in each of the past two seasons and winning the 2011 Rose Bowl.

If TCU decides to head to the Big 12, it will be the first time the conference has added a school since the conference was formed in 1996.

Missouri did not participate in the vote, citing the “advice of legal counsel,” the release said.

On Tuesday, the UM System Board of Curators announced that it had authorized MU Chancellor Brady Deaton to explore other conference options.

In a separate vote, the Big 12 board also agreed to a six-year grant of television rights, according to another release from the conference. Missouri did not participate in this vote either, citing the same reason.

Under the agreement, any school that decides to leave the conference would see its television revenues continue to go to the Big 12, a situation that will go a long way toward keeping schools in the Big 12.

When they were first proposed last month, University of Oklahoma President David Boren described the penalties as “pretty strong handcuffs.”

As a part of this agreement, several other bylaws were established that officially address the Longhorn Network operated by the University of Texas. Most notably, the station will not be allowed to broadcast high school football games or highlights, something other Big 12 schools have seen as an unfair recruiting advantage.

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Jack Lutkewitte October 8, 2011 | 9:01 a.m.

As a Mizzou Alumni I personally think Mizzou would make a huge mistake by leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. There is no way that Mizzou will be competitive in SEC football, just like the SEC schools are not competitive academically against the Big 12 schools. Mizzou will bring a competitive edge in basketball (but let's see where that goes after Mizzou let Anderson leave).

Conference affiliations should be about a number of things, of which money should be the least. Mizzou (and their fans) will have trouble travelling (as if the flack we have gotten about travelling for bowl games wasn't enough). Similar to what a friend told me many years ago regarding a girl I dated that lived 25 miles away, The SEC is just geographically undesirable! If we want our players and fans to see the U.S. then go to the Big East or ACC where the Fall season is just plain beautiful and the schools have extremely high academic achievements.

More important than the traveling (or even the money - which by recent accounts appears to be evening out in the Big 12) is history, allegiance and rivalries. Mizzou's rivalries are rooted in the Midwest where generations have fought against one another and side-by-side during the Civil War and on football fields in the Fall. The needs of the one do not out-weight the needs of the many. Mizzou wanting to explore other conferences (for the 2nd time recently) shows a pompous side that I'm personally not happy to be affiliated with. Mizzou should display allegiance to the Big 12 and attempt to make it the best conference so that other members would not want to leave and many schools would want to join. Every conference has a bully or two that they have to contend with (Texas, OK, and Nebraska-who moved out of town) but being from Missouri I was brought up to deal with the bullies, show allegiance to your true colors and be proud of your history - don't run away from it.

Living on the east coast (Virginia) there is a part of me that would like to see them join the SEC or ACC so I could see almost every game. For my part I would rather have Mizzou stay in the Big 12 and catch the games when I can, if it means that history is maintained and Mizzou stays where they belong with an allegiance to the Midwest. Will Marching Mizzou's slogan go from the Big M in the Midwest to the Big M formerly from the Midwest who sold out for profit and mediocrity.

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