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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Approval from Board of Regents a requirement if KU, K-State desire to negotiate moving into new conference

The view of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium from the top of Campanile hill in July 2020.

The view of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium from the top of Campanile hill in July 2020.

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As the future of the Big 12 Conference hangs in the balance, one thing is clear: The University of Kansas will need approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to make any type of move regarding its conference affiliation.

That fact is spelled out in black and white in the Board of Regents’ bylaws and policies online.

With Oklahoma and Texas formally requesting invitations to the SEC on Tuesday, the future of the conference and its eight remaining members appears to be uncertain.

If moving on from the conference it has called home for nearly three decades is viewed as the right move for Kansas, KU would need to have the Board’s blessing to even begin discussing joining another conference.

“Any change by a state university in its athletic conference membership shall require expedited Board Chairman and Board President and CEO approval before entering negotiations relative to such change,” the policy reads.

That was not always the case, however. According to the minutes provided at their March 17 meeting, the policy on requiring BOR approval to begin negotiations was adopted in March of this year.

No such policy existed the first time conference realignment hit college athletics back in 2011 and 2012.

However, according to the minutes of a BOR meeting from December of 2020, the approval policy was first proposed to the Board more than 18 months ago.

It surfaced again more recently in the minutes of a Jan. 20, 2021 meeting, with KU Chancellor Douglas Girod stating, according to the minutes of that meeting, that “these negotiations happen quickly and convening a Board meeting could be challenging.”

According to the minutes, Girod told the Board in January that there were two reasons a university might look to leave its current conference: “Either because the institution is deciding to seek a new conference or it is because there are changes happening in its current conference.” The minutes indicate that Girod also explained to the Regents that there could be confidentiality concerns.

According to the minutes, Girod ultimately said he supported the idea of informing the Board Chair, President and CEO of any such negotiations as outlined by the policy.

The Journal-World reached out to both KU and the Board of Regents on Tuesday, seeking clarification on the origin of the policy. KU spokesman Joe Monaco referred the inquiries to the Board of Regents.

Matt Keith, the Director of Communications for the Board of Regents, said the policy change originated in the Board’s Governance committee in late 2020 and was introduced because the Regents “wanted to provide additional Board oversight over athletic conference changes due to the significant impact conference membership has on a university.”

Board of Regents chair Cheryl Harrison-Lee made note of the policy during a Monday statement regarding the current state of the Big 12.

“The Regents recognize the importance of conference affiliation for the experience of all students and have Board policy to ensure that conference membership supports our strategic goals,” Harrison-Lee said in the statement. “Per that policy, if any state university wishes to change athletic conferences, the university CEO must obtain expedited approval from the Board Chair and President and CEO prior to entering any negotiations. This provides important Board oversight, while also protecting the time sensitive and confidential nature of these negotiations.”

Harrison-Lee went on to express confidence in the fact that Girod and Kansas State President Richard Myers “will seek approval from Board leadership prior to beginning any negotiations. She added that the Board would inform the public of such requests “at the appropriate time.”

Tuesday inquiries from the Journal-World to the Board of Regents about whether either school had requested such approval went unanswered.

In her Monday statement, Harrison-Lee also said that the Board would continue to monitor the developments in the Big 12 and their impact on KU and K-State.

“We will continue to work with the university leaders to prioritize the fiscal stability and academic standards of our universities consistent with the goals of our strategic plan to support Kansas families, businesses and economic prosperity,” the statement concluded.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, via a Monday statement from state officials, also added her take on the current uncertainty in the Big 12 shortly after Oklahoma and Texas officially announced that they would not be signing a grant of rights extension with the conference in 2025.

On Tuesday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was the first to announce that both OU and Texas had requested formal invitations into the SEC.

“Governor Kelly appreciates the Big 12 remaining committed to the continued success both academically and athletically for members of the conference,” the statement began. “She and her office are in regular communication with KU, KSU, the Kansas Board of Regents and the Big 12 Conference to ensure our universities and the state of Kansas will be in the best possible position following the decision from UT and OU.”

Comments

Jeff Coffman 4 months ago

An email should have already been sent to the BOR, stating that we are negotiating the next available conference. Big 10, ACC, PAC in that order, whichever one offers first.

And I'm just curious, if they didn't do that, would the BOR all of sudden say they couldn't join a conference at this point in time?

Dale Rogers 4 months ago

If I read this correctly, the BOR has to approve negotiation but do not even have to be made aware of initial discussions to determine level of interest and membership requirements. So long as there is no negotiating of requirements or any other factor, the BOR does not have to be in the loop. Correct? I know there is a fine line there and hope I'm walking that line properly in what I said.

Brett McCabe 4 months ago

Mush mouth Girod, taking another strong stand!

So, for all of you out-of-towners, the Board of Regents, political appointments by a guy who thought he should conduct an experiment with the Kansas economy, will now dictate to an undeserving hire what athletic conference we should belong to.

Republicans are truly exceptional at one thing; situational beliefs.

Small government? Sure! Unless we know better.

Family values? Sure! Except when it comes to the president of the United States.

Jesus? Sure! Except we haven’t read a piece of scripture, ever, that hasn’t been read to us.

Please understand that the BOR is a collection of the worst human beings you could ever meet. And now? They are flexing.

My guess is that we will join Tulane (literally a university named after a slave holder), Baylor, TCU and Liberty in the Holy Grail Conference. The Knights of Nicht are waiting.

Bryce Landon 4 months ago

Somewhere in Communist China, a village is missing its idiot.

Brian Wilson 4 months ago

Nice of you to say that about the BOR Brett! Uh....Let's see...The Kansas Board of Regents is comprised of it's President and 9 members all of which are appointed by the Kansas Governor:

Bill Feuerborn - Democrat State Representative for 18 years.
Cheryl Harrison-Lee named BOR by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly.
Mark Hutton is a Republican State Representative,
Jon Rolph, CEO of the Thrive group - Named BOR by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly.
Allen Schmidt is a former Democratic Kansas State Senator.
Hellen Van Etten is Republican, Audiologist in the Topeka school district.
Blake Flanders, BOR President named 2008 by Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Shellain Kiblinger appointed BOR by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly.
Shane Bangerter - likely Republican appointed BOR by Governor Brownback is 2013. Ann Brandau-Murguia - likely Republican named BOR by Governor Brownback.

Gee Brett! Board of Regents is comprised of 6 Democrats and 4 Republicans. No what do you have to say?

Family Values?? LOL LOL....so all in the family just like Hunter? and Malia, and cousin. Comparatively speaking Trump's family rocks. I wouldn't mock Jesus, just say'n!

John Strayer 4 months ago

Exactly! Why let facts get in the way of your propaganda argument! This is what is wrong with our country now days. We have lost all civility and ability to get along with those we disagree with. We are not so quick to jump to shouting down and name calling instead of having civil discussions.

Ted Hume 4 months ago

I agree John that there is WAY too much factually-challenged or flat-out insane propaganda being spewed all over the place in this country, and I hope everyone acknowledges that their "side" is not immune. That's why I consider myself not a Democrat or Republican or even an American first, but a human being. Just an actual living person on this planet who happens to have been born in a certain place at a certain time, in a world with an incomprehensible mess of problems caused by my least favorite word in the English language: Belief. Everyone wants to simply "believe" in things instead of trying to actual find truths, knowledge, and understanding

Michael Maris 4 months ago

Since Brett LOVES to politicize anything that he opposes, and Brian has displayed the current sitting BoR membership above.

The BoR was activated on July 1st, 1925. Sure, a Republican Governor was seated in January of 1925. But, a Democratic Governor (Jonathan M.Davis) preceded Governor Benjamin S. Paulen - R.

So, exactly who actually created and formed the Kansas Board of Regents back before July 1st, 1925? Democratic Governor or who?

Brett, your political alliance seems to hinder your abilities to move on.

Kind of like the Congressional Members of the House of Representative and their "CRYING Drama Scene with the 4 Called Upon Capitol Police Representatives. Juat a HORDE of CRYBABIES.........

Ted Hume 4 months ago

damn straight. FAKE NEWS!!!! BLUE LIVES DON"T MATTER! PROUD BOYS FOREVER!

Bville Hawk 4 months ago

Brian, quit trying to confuse Brett with the facts. Creating false narratives is what his side is good at.

Micky Baker 4 months ago

You should have done your homework before you posted that. The majority have been appointed by Democratic governors. What difference does it make who they are appointed by? Probably not a discussion for the sports page. The rule has likely been in place for awhile. I'm certain that if KU and K-State do want to join another conference, the BOR will not object.

Jason Spangler 4 months ago

This will take about 30 seconds for KU to lawyer their way out of when the time comes.

Robert Brock 4 months ago

KU to the Big 10

K-State to the Mountain West

BOR...get out your rubber stamp. Pronto!

Dale Rogers 4 months ago

My concern is the BOR could try to say KU and KSU have to be in the same conference. If that happens, then the B1G is out and the B1G is where I think KU should go.

Keith Gellar 4 months ago

LOL...KU ain't going to the Big10. Best bet at this point will be Mountain West

Lucas Town 4 months ago

It's unfortunate that both state schools may no longer compete in the same conference. They may still play an annual game in most if not all sports, but the rivalry could lose some of its luster. With the money K-State has spent on their facilities over there I'm sure they will wind up in a power conference.

The Big 10 makes sense for KU (I like the move) and most talked about place to land. I keep hearing Pac 12 for K-State with a smaller chance of heading to the Big 10 due to their National Bio and Agri-defense facility.

Who knows, the Big 12 will probably grab Houston and Cincinnati and keep the Big 12 on life support.

Glen Miller 4 months ago

Why is it unfortunate? Let's be real, this "Sunflower Showdown" was always a forced scam to try and fabricate a rivalry that doesn't exist. I couldn't care less if we play them every year or not. I think it would be detrimental to our best interests to insist that they go with us wherever we go. Hopefully the Kansas Board understands that and doesn't doom both schools because they are too stubborn.

Lucas Town 4 months ago

Call me old fashion, love of tradition, KU and K-State have been playing each other since 1902. Do you not miss the rivalry with Missouri? That was so fierce and the hatred from each side was always obvious. I disagree that the rivalry doesn't exist, I know a lot of fans, both KU and K-State that hate to lose this match up. It's not the caliber of the KU/Missouri rivalry, but it does exist.

I do agree that there is no reason for each school to be in the same conference, but the two should still play just as Iowa and Iowa State do. Hopefully the BOR will allow each school to do what is best for them.

Spencer Goff 4 months ago

Look, I don't give a damn what their political affiliation is, the BOR should be meeting to remove that stipulation from not just KU and KSU but Wichita State as well. It is entirely plausible that a large scale reformation occurs and even the AAC reforms with football only schools.

Being a member of the BOR is a job that sometimes should require overtime, they should expect that to be one of these times.

The schools in the conference now should be able to take any Power 5 invite offered, and the remaining members could retain the Big 12 name and reform a league with the strongest members of the AAC, Mountain West and BYU.

Both the Mountain West and AAC have some bloat membership that are not ideal and it is plausible they decide to reform completely, and anybody thinking that basketball only Wichita State is immune to getting bumped is insane. The Koch Bros. are not doing the realignment.

David Atchley 4 months ago

Is that similar to "basketball only" Kansas University? The Wichita State baseball program has been to the College World Series "7" times and won the National Championship in 1989.

Glen Miller 4 months ago

Wichita State baseball hasn't been relevant since the 90's. We have won titles in multiple sports since then. Not even close to the same.

David Atchley 4 months ago

I wish the Kansas Football Program had a fraction of relevance the Wichita State baseball program has enjoyed..... The point is Wichita State is a 2 sport school...not just basketball. BTW...Wichita State has the eighth-highest winning percentage in NCAA Division I Baseball History at .655. Texas has made the most appearances of any school at the College World Series...The SEC takes their baseball seriously... just ask Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida. Southern girls "dig the long ball"

Michael Maris 4 months ago

When the newly appointed AD Eric Sexton made the decision to "move on" from Gene Stephenson, that was the beginning of the downfall of Shocker Baseball. That AD was the son of a Shocker Hall of Fame Inductee (Linwood Sexton).

Eric FAILED as an AD. And, Shocker Baseball has paid for his incompetence as an AD every since then......

David Brown 4 months ago

Why have conferences at all? 300+ schools make their own schedules according to history, geography, rivalries, rankings etc. All schools as free agents, doing what they perceive as best for themselves. The NCAA is: a joke; powerless; ancient & archaic. Reshuffling of conferences has shown what really rules and what schools are really valuing: money & prestige. So, let everyone chase individually what they are really going for anyhow.

John Strayer 4 months ago

Because the television networks...the source of all of this $...don't want to negotiate with 300 entities...they would rather negotiate with 5-10 conferences.

Ted Hume 4 months ago

David, the simplest answer is math. Do you know how many potential combinations there are with 300 schools trying to fill out a 26-game bb schedule with no conference affiliations to automatically match two-thirds of the games for you with set opponents? There's not enough computational power on earth to run the potential combinations, and it would be a futile attempt for teams to even try to all end up with a filled schedule. In fact the number is so incomprehensible that it's larger than the number of atoms in the entire universe. But hey, if the NCAA is the alternative, then maybe futility is worth a try? :)

David Atchley 4 months ago

This is about Name/Image/Likeness...pure and simple... along with television/streaming rights. ESPN has successfully repositioned itself with their streaming services. Disney and ESPN streaming all with the effort to hold-off Amazon. "The Athletic" reported yesterday that 37 of the top 40 games broadcasted in the Big 12 Conference last year featured Texas playing, or Oklahoma playing, or Texas and Oklahoma playing each other.

Kansas Football continually fumbled their ability to hire top-tier Athletic Directors and Head Coaches and has squandered any opportunity to be competitive. The inept "Search Committee" over the years compounded matters. Name/Image/Likeness doesn't exist for Kansas Football.

Name/Image/Likeness is driving the proverbial bus for Oklahoma and Texas move to the SEC. All of the "under-the-table/backroom" recruiting is suddenly "above" the table. Though Kansas Football doesn't compete for 4 and 5 star recruits, schools like Texas and Oklahoma are in the mix for all the top high school athletes, particularly in the State of Texas. Top recruits desire a school that is going to be playing in the prime-time television slots, against the top teams with the top brand, to elevate their personal opportunity and revenue,

I would venture a guess the SEC isn't finished luring top schools from other Conferences.

Rodney Crain 4 months ago

Using the definition for the rest of the world - a Regent is a person appointed to administer a country because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated. Which history shows lets them do whatever they want, and it does not always end well for the monarch, or in our case's the two schools we are talking about. History has shown that no matter what definition you apply, Regents tend to think with a pencil, quill, or a pc and not worry about the schools’ fans, teams, or conferences. Athletics are way down the list of importance for a Regent. This does not bode well for us. They will not make a timely, nor well thought-out decision either. At least from our perspective. Interesting that in March it was changed with our our blessing.

Bob Strawn 4 months ago

Fan base basis:

Delusional: ISU, Ku, WVU; Worried: TxT, K-State, oSu; Frightened: TCU, Baylor.

Michael Maris 4 months ago

Iowa State can't get a B1G Invite or the Big XII becomes extinct.

Then, the MAC may be Iowa States best fit.

WVU probably an ACC fit.......

Texas & OU doesn't care what happens to the remaining Big XII Schools.

The remaining Schools should band together, go after BIG TV Market located Schools.

U. of Houston, Colorado State, Northern Illinois, U. of Memphis to join the remaining Big XII schools.

The new schools may NOT get ALL of the viewers in the Big TV markets.... But, those schools DO have a fan base. And, they desire to see their Universities play on NATIONAL TV as well.

Want to explode to 14 schools, target Cincinnati to give WVU a nearby rival. Go after BYU or feel out what other Universities may be "looking" around as well.

ESPN is originally responsible for all of this Conference Hopping/Expansion crap......

Broker a TV deal with FOX Sports or Streaming Service for TV Rights....

At this point and time, I really could care less...... B1G & SEC are Powerbrokers and they can CARE LESS about the Universities whom are "LOOKING" inwardly......

GREED is the ROOT of ALL evils.......

Bj Cassady 4 months ago

About five years ago I was in favor of courting the following schools: New Mexico, New Mexico State (you would own the tv sets of that state), Wyoming, Boise St, BYU, take a stab at USAF, Army, Navy those 4 schools have a national following, go after Houston, Cincy, Memphis, UCF, SMU, Rice, Tulsa, Tulane. You get a footprint in the south a lot more TV sets which is $. Yeah these are not major schools but Boise St has been, BYU won a National Title, Air Force was undefeated in the late 80's, Navy has been good. W Virginia would have some schools in their area. Syracuse might be a fit.

Spencer Goff 4 months ago

David, this is no time to be butt hurt, they have no football team and if a conference reforms around fielding a team, they are out. This has risk for them, you can point at your baseball team, your dance choreography team, or whatever, but if the BOR doesn’t ’t recognize risk it may bite WSU in the ass. A newly formed conference can take either KSU or KU and capture the same TV audience that WSU offers. WSU just got elevated to AAC, but as a reaction to all this the AAC may not exist in current format.

David Atchley 4 months ago

Au Contraire... not "butt hurt" in the least... merely sprinkling some facts to the poster's point. To yours... Kansas has the worst football program of the Power 5 Conference schools, and may extend to the worst program in Division 1 and there is not a close second. How anyone thinks that is providing any leverage or influence in football driven conference, tv viewers, NIL, is misguided. I believe Iowa State to to the Big 10 makes sense with its proximity to Iowa and Nebraska, West Virginia to the ACC makes sense due to proximity. That leaves 6 teams in the Big 12. The AAC seems the most natural fit, lots of basketball dominant schools... that also have a semblance of a football team. Combined, that immediately gives a 17 team conference and the majority of schools in the Central Time Zone. BTW...baseball in the SEC and in Texas are revenue generators, with beautiful facilities and a pipeline to MLB... however I cannot speak to the choreography teams...

Spencer Goff 4 months ago

So you think the AAC would want three teams in the State of Kansas and that your baseball team is this world renowned product that makes WSU super enticing to Amazon and Hulu because of “two sport” dominance? Is that what I am reading?

David Atchley 4 months ago

Once again... I have no allegiance to WSU, was simply (or apparently not so simply) pointing-out they are not a 1 sport school. They have as much appeal from an athletic standpoint as the other Kansas schools... the reality of that is hard to swallow. Kansas basketball is the only appeal to any conference, the AAC included. However, this is about Football and Wichita State not having a football program is not too far away from the product Kansas puts on the field. My point with the AAC is it seems to have like/kind schools from an athletic standpoint. You look at a storied football program like Nebraska, becoming obsolete in the Big 10 Conference. Kansas has squandered the past 10 years attempting to return respectability to its football program. Imagine the embarrassment playing in the Big 10 Conference. The AAC affords Kansas the ability to at least be competitive in Football. This is trending towards dismantling the NCAA as a governing body, and only 3-4 "Super Conferences" in existence, "the haves and have nots." The SEC is rumored to have Florida State in their sights as well as others.

Spencer Goff 4 months ago

They do not even remotely have the same level of athletic appeal as either KU or KSU, you are over-estimating the value of baseball, is my point.

And it would be in their best interest if very few of these Big 12 teams did not find homes as it increases the likelihood of the AAC and MWC making moves that they may not be included in.

Now, I won't tell you that Kansas football has not spent a solid decade of pooping the bed in the pigskin world, but bad football is still easier to schedule and sell to Amazon then no football.

This post did not start out as a "flame WSU discussion" but it somehow got there. Again, I will reiterate my point, the BOR should not be blocking any of these schools from making the moves they may be forced to make. It is entirely plausible all three find themselves in worse situations than they are currently in. Can you agree to that?

David Atchley 4 months ago

I absolutely concur... I believe Kansas and Kansas State will learn their appeal or lack thereof, sooner than later. I agree baseball is regionally supported, but make no mistake, its wildly supported at the University of Texas and the SEC. Kansas football having athletic appeal to anyone, much less Amazon is hard to imagine. Comedy Central might be a viable alternative. The reshuffling of conferences, the move towards an ultimate super conference, the dissolution of the NCAA, Name/Image/Likeness are moves that will find schools like Kansas, Kansas State, on the outside looking in.

Micky Baker 4 months ago

It's really the weather conditions that are different. They can play year round down there, not up here. The NIL thing... it will corrupt college athletics.

John Joseph Gorski 4 months ago

Keith Geller forgot the S in between the K and U!!!!

Layne Pierce 4 months ago

Greed, greed, greed. That's all.

RCJH

Micky Baker 4 months ago

Both schools should have heeded the warning when Colorado and Nebraska bailed out. Will not dwell on it. There are not very many options. In my opinion, it would be ideal to invite some teams to join the Big 12. Invite Colorado and Nebraska back since they left because of Texas. Invite SMU and Houston to join, which they probably would if Colorado and Nebraska did. Invite Missouri back and then pluck one from a conference out west. This could be Boise State, which is a football dominant school and would generate revenues or Gonzaga which is a big basketball money generator. May not make sense with those two geographically, but for revenue generating potential it might. Just my thoughts on this. If this cannot be done, I would prefer Big 10, and then Mountain West. Whichever conference that we do go to, KU and K-State should be package deal. K-State takes the football revenue, KU takes the basketball revenue to whichever conference. Mountain West would benefit the most and it would help those programs maybe advance. We could also just get all 6 teams to agree, to the Mountain West and make it a Power 5 mega-conference and say good riddens to OU and Texas.

Micky Baker 4 months ago

A late edit. WVU would probably fit in well with the ACC. Kansas, K-State, Texas Tech, OSU, TCU, Baylor and Iowa State could all go to the Mountain West and benefit the entire conference in revenues. All of those schools' athletic departments would benefit with extra bowl game projections and more schools in the NCAA basketball tourney with two of those schools playing in Final Fours in recent years and keeping together some of the key rivalries alive in football between the likes of K-State/TCU, K-State/OSU and basketball rivalries between Kansas/Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. When the Big 12 was formed, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech benefitted greatly in that they were able to build basketball programs that all had national championship potential at times. Some of the Mountain West schools could rise to that level of the seven teams(instead of eight mentioned in the original post) went as a package deal to the Mountain West. I do not think that would be something that is expected and would likely be a hit to the SEC, particularly in basketball because they really only have on perennial power in basketball, and that is Kentucky and that is still not nearly as stable as KU has been for almost 30 years. The same could be done by invited all the Mountain West schools to the Big 12 while also inviting Missouri, Nebraska, and Colorado back. Some will say, we have time, 4 years. But I say, we only have 4 years. There is a lot to do. Start working on it now.

Micky Baker 4 months ago

Quite frankly, I won't miss Texas. I would like the OU basketball rivalry to stay alive. But Texas is toxic. First, the SW Conference went away, now they take the Big 12 will go away if the wrong decisions are made. However, the schools should start talking to each other trying to put together a package of teams that would agree to go as a package deal somewhere, but not without that package deal.

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