Pac-12 presidents and chancellors voted late Tuesday night to reaffirm their decision to stay at 12 members rather than adding as many as four schools.
SAN FRANCISCO — Twelve is enough for the Pac-12.
The conference’s presidents and chancellors voted late Tuesday night to not expand. While commissioner Larry Scott called some proposals “financially attractive,” there reportedly was overwhelming support from the member schools to hold off on further growth.
At least for the foreseeable future.
“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,” Scott said. “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.”
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Thus the Pac-12 will continue to be primarily a West Coast entity.
Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were among schools considering a potential move from the Big 12 Conference after Texas A&M — another Big 12 member — applied for membership to the Southeastern Conference.
Instead, the Pac-12 decided not to give them the chance.
Unless Texas dropped its exclusive rights to the Longhorn Network and agreed to an equal-revenue sharing plan the Pac-12 adopted this year, there wasn’t enough money to generate support from Pac-12 officials. Travel expense in a conference with some teams that would be two time zones away was another factor.
Scott considered a 16-team conference a year ago but backed off when Texas turned him down.
The Pac-10, as it was known then, decided to add Utah from the Mountain West Conference and Colorado from the Big 12. The move allowed the conference to hold a league-championship football game — which it will do for the first time this year — and generate more leverage in television negotiations.
Scott negotiated a landmark 12-year television contract this summer with Fox and ESPN worth about $3 billion.
Scott had said for weeks that, unlike last year, the Pac-12 wasn’t seeking new members but would listen to proposals.
The Pac-12 decision might add stability to the Big 12 and the Big East; the Big East is losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma laid out its terms for the survival of the Big 12 as a nine-team conference.
If the Sooners are to remain in the conference, they say commissioner Dan Beebe has to go and Texas’ Longhorn Network must submit to restrictions.
Reports Missouri and the SEC have a tentative agreement were denied by SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom.