Local Radio Station: Byrne Tells Staff Reports of Move From Big 12 Could Happen

By: Austin American Statesman Email
By: Austin American Statesman Email

What is the future of the Big 12 and the PAC 10? Will Texas A&M and U.T. make the move? The following is one reporter's thoughts, beliefs and compilation of prognosis:

Share Big 12/Pac-10 rumors have legs
By Kirk Bohls | Friday, June 4, 2010, 03:24 PM

Do not for a minute discount all this recent talk about Texas to the Pac-10. It very well could happen, and happen very soon.

My 9 Things column a few weeks ago suggested a merger or TV alliance with the Pac-10 would be the most likely scenario for Texas and A&M, and Orangebloods.com, to its credit, nailed it down this week, saying the Pac-10 is prepared to invite six Big 12 schools and form an eastern division including those six, Arizona State and Arizona.

Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne told his staff and coaches that the reports are accurate and could happen, at least one College Station radio station, KZNE (1150) is reporting.

Forget all the denials. These are back-room deals at work, and no one in authority and in the know is going to say anything concrete until it’s done.

Even though I think this story has legs, it is far from officially complete and may never come about because it’s a highly fluid situation.

The possibility that Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado could merge with the Pac 10 is very real.

It is probably contingent on the decisions by Nebraska and maybe Missouri to continue dancing with the Big Ten despite no hard invitations from that league.

If Nebraska’s board of trustees, who meet June 12, vote to stick with the Big 12, it could totally quash the Pac 10 options. The Cornhuskers definitely want to join the Big Ten, in my opinion, as does Missouri, but haven’t been invited yet.

The Big 12 figures to call ‘em both out and demand a position.

I am also told that a linkage between Texas and Texas A&M may not necessarily be set in stone, and that quite frankly stuns me.

Baylor President Ken Starr also released a letter to the Baylor family today regarding the expansion rumors. Here's the letter:

June 4, 2010

Members of the Baylor Family,

The spring meetings of the Big 12 Conference have just concluded. The media attention that has focused on the potential for conference realignment has made these meetings especially lively and, at times, challenging.

Ian McCaw, our athletic director, and I have been extremely active participants in these meetings, working hard to represent Baylor's best interests. While I have little specific to report, I can tell you that at this time we are encouraged by the way the process is unfolding.

Ian and I have made our case clear: Baylor emphatically supports the Big 12 Conference and wants to see it prosper. In particular, we appreciate our fellow Texas institutions in the Big 12 and the special rivalries that entertain our state and energize our alumni.

We are aware of the intense speculation surrounding the possible expansion of other conferences. We remain hopeful that the Big 12 will remain intact and continue to be one of the nation's foremost athletic conferences.

Of course, we are immensely proud of our standing - both athletic and academic - in the Big 12. In the last seven years alone we have won a combined 28 Big 12 regular-season and tournament championships, positioning us third behind Texas (55) and Texas A&M (30). The academic quality of our students also sets Baylor apart. In the most recent edition of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S.News & World Report, Baylor is ranked fourth in the Big 12.

Be assured that we are committed to doing everything in our power to promote and defend the best interests of Baylor University as these discussions continue in the days ahead.

Sic 'em, Bears.

Ken Starr

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