Realignment a hot topic at Big 12 Media Days

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
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ARLINGTON, Texas (KWCH) - The word of the year in college sports is “realignment.” Recent shakeups include powerful programs making moves that make much more sense financially than they do geographically, including the announcement of USC and UCLA going to the Big 10. The shockwaves are felt across the country, especially in conferences like the Big 12, eyeing its future and ways to keep up.

The topic of conference realignment was centric to much of the discussion during the first day of the Big 12 Media Days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Addressing the issue is new Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark, exploring expansion opportunities even though he doesn’t officially start as Big 12 Commissioner until August.

A couple days after his hiring to guide the Big 12 was announced, Yormark said he, like everyone else in the sports world, was shaken by the USC-and-UCLA-to-the-Big 10 news. But he said he saw that as an exciting opportunity for the Big 12. When asked if he’s been in contact with Pac 12 schools, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State -- all reportedly in the scopes of the Big 12 -- Yormark didn’t shut down the idea. He said the conference is exploring all options and is open for business.

“I think it’s fair to say I’ve received a lot of phone calls, a lot of interest,” Yormark said. “People understand the direction of the Big12 and we’re exploring those levels of interest. Nothing is imminent but we’re working hard to make sure we position the Big 12 in the best possible way in a go-forward basis.”

With all of the changes in college sports, from conference realignment to NIL-and-multimedia rights, Yormark said in August and September, he’ll be conducting a listening tour of all Big 12 campuses to get stakeholder perspectives and input on the Big 12′s future.

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