Realignment Today: 11:06 p.m. - Sources, reports indicate Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on way out
11:06 p.m. Update:
Tonight was my wife's birthday and I tried to stay away from the blog for a night but it didn't work. Something had to happen.
According a report from Mike DeArmond, who covers Missouri, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is planning an exit from his post.
ESPN.com also is reporting the news, and had this from Andy Katz:
Beebe was one of five BCS commissioners absent from the Collegiate Commissioner Association meetings in Chicago on Wednesday, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The only BCS conference commissioner in attendance was Jim Delany of the Big Ten — the only BCS conference not dealing with expansion.
Earlier today, Big 12 sources indicated to me that Beebe would likely leave.
“I sense that he’s gonna be the scapegoat," one source said.
This, surely is not major news, though the fact that it's happening so quickly may come as some surprise.
Less than 24 hours ago, Beebe was the leader of a Big 12 Conference that was fighting for its life. Tonight, the conference looks very much alive but Beebe's time as its leader appears to be finished.
Check back tomorrow for much more on the Beebe story. I'll be on it bright and early.
As for the birthday, we had a great dinner with great friends.
More tomorrow. Stay tuned...
4:22 p.m. Update:
This just in from the Journal-World's Scott Rothschild in Topeka.
Kansas higher education officials Wednesday said they were happy that the Big 12 was staying somewhat intact for now.
"We're glad the Big 12 is staying together and that KU and K-State stay together," said Board of Regents Chairman Ed McKechnie.
Texas A&M is leaving for the Southeastern Conference, which led to weeks of speculation that Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State were going to join the Pac-12.
But the Pac-12 announced late Tuesday it would stay at 12 members.
As rumors swirled about the potential demise of the Big 12, speculation exploded about which conference Kansas University and Kansas State would join.
Gov. Sam Brownback, McKechnie and university officials all publicly stated they wanted the remaining Big 12 schools to stay together, and for KU and KSU to stay together in the league.
And that's how it has turned out, at least for the near term. "That is ideal for us," said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
She said staying in the Big 12 was important. Being in a less prominent league may have reduced KU's visibility in the eyes of some potential students, she said.
Resolution of the issue, McKechnie said, "lets us focus back on academics. I feel better today than I have in five weeks."
The regents were scheduled to go into a closed session to review the contracts that KU and KSU has with the Big 12.
"We just want to see where we're going," McKechnie said.
In Austin, Texas officials said they were open to a new revenue-sharing model in the Big 12. In April, the Big 12 agreed to a 13-year TV deal with Fox Sports worth more than $1 billion. Texas gets a larger share of revenue from TV contracts than some Big 12 members. Texas, however, said revenue-sharing offers don't include the Longhorn Network, which Texas launched several weeks ago with ESPN.
Libby Johnson, president of the KU student body, said the developments concerning the Big 12 have been a major topic of discussion.
"The student body is definitely concerned about it and paying attention," Johnson said.
Johnson said she hoped KU stayed in the Big 12. "The Big 12 has served KU students well," she said.
3:53 p.m. Update:
While we're talking about Missouri... Here's something I stumbled across that made me laugh. Don't take it too serious. Just a bit of comic relief.
By the way, the more people I talk to today the more I'm sensing that Mizzou is all-in on the Big 12, just as I've been told all along.
3:31 p.m. Update:
Talk continues to move forward about replacing Big 12 commissioner with an interim commissioner, for now, and someone who could move the conference forward in a united manner.
One name that keeps popping up is Chuck Neinas, a former Big Eight commissioner, who served from 1971-80.
Here are the highlights of Neinas' qualifications:
• Negotiated television contracts and administered a television plan on behalf of the CFA members from 1984 through 1995 that included ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN.
• Assumed responsibility for promoting CFA sponsored NCAA legislation that included the improvement of academic standards, the development of the continuing eligibility rule requiring progress toward a degree, establishment of more reasonable and enforceable NCAA rules including the recruiting calendar and elimination of the alumni and boosters from the recruiting process.
• As assistant executive director of the NCAA from 1961 to 1971, Neinas served as secretary to the NCAA Council (the policy making board of the organization) and Executive Committee (responsible for financial and business affairs). He was supervisor of NCAA Championships including direct responsibility for the National Collegiate Basketball Championship and College World Series, and served as NCAA Congressional liaison.
• Also has experience with the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as experience working with the NBA's Denver Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche.
For a full look at his bio, along with a link to his actual resume. They'll search this out but Neinas sounds as good as anybody.
Stay tuned... Gathering more on where Missouri stands right now...
2:47 p.m. Update:
Realignment aftermath still ongoing... But for those who may have missed it, Wichita Heights standout Perry Ellis has committed to Kansas to play basketball.
Great pick-up for the Jayhawks.
12:28 p.m. Update:
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds spoke a few minutes ago regarding the Big 12's survival, its future and the idea that Texas will have to concede some power if things are going to work out.
Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say:
• Dodds on Big 12: "I'm relieved. Bottom line, it's the right thing to do for our kids. We want to get stability quickly."
• Dodds on Conference Realignment 2011: "Ten years from now, people are going to look back at this and say that wasn't that big of a deal."
• Dodds on sharing LHN/TV revenue: Says B12 will share first and second tier TV rights equally but sharing third-tier (LHN) in non-negotiable.
--- on a side note, OU is demanding via the contract with ESPN, that there be assurances made that no one leaves the Big 12 for at least six years ---
• Dodds on UT's image: "We are who we are. People say what they say. The outcome is the outcome. We're proud of ourselves."
11:16 a.m. Update:
Been scrolling through the comments and various other web sites this morning and it seems like there are some common questions that everyone following this thing wants answered now that we're on to the next stage.
The following links are an attempt to answer some of those.
What's next for OU, now that the Pac-12 is off the table and the demands have been made? Berry Tramel, of the Daily Oklahoman and the OU student paper attempt to address that...
Dan Wetzel, of Yahoo!, recaps that the Big 12 lives on for now.... http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-wetzel_big_12_lives_to_play_092111
Jon Wilner, one of the people who has covered this thing the best from the Pac-12 perspective examines if the Pac-12 risked its future by not expanding now... http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/09/21/did-the-pac-12-risk-its-future-by-not-expanding/
And, finally, here's a good breakdown of some of the major questions that stretch from coast-to-coast... http://outkickthecoverage.com/the-big-12-makes-ron-and-sammi-look-stable.php
10:21 a.m. Update:
Care to hear what Pickens is saying about the Aggies? Here are a couple of Tweets that the Oklahoma State booster sent out this morning.
It's a great sign for the league that Pickens is supporting the Big 12 so strongly right now. Can only help as they move forward.
Aggies are a big part of #Big12. Truly hope they are not gone yet. Told them that, know they are listening, but not sure they are hearing
Must be equality & stability in #Big12. It's easy-don't have to explain "split" & "even." issue is equal split & everyone treated evenly
10:04 a.m. Update:
By now, anyone reading this surely knows the nature of the events that unfolded late last night, as the Pac-12 announced that it would not be expanding at this time and people throughout Big 12 country breathed a huge sigh of relief.
As the news broke, various reports started to fill the Internet regarding what's next for the Big 12 and conference realignment.
We are to that point. But the Big 12 still has a bunch of pieces to put back together before we can move firmly into the next stage.
Phone calls to various Big 12 sources this morning revealed the same message: We can breathe a little bit here. But we're not going to breathe too much because there's still work to be done.
First, there's this report from BYU's Rivals.com site that indicates that the Cougars are a serious contender to join the Big 12, should the league look to expand.
While there may be some truth in here, my sources are telling me that there's still a lot that the surviving Big 12 needs to fix and focus on before it can worry about expansion. That said, casual talks have been ongoing — or at least had been until the last two weeks when everyone flipped the switch into survival mode — about which schools would be good fits and which would not.
A couple of quick nuggets from various reports around the Big 12...
• Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com is reporting that if the Big 12 stays together, Baylor will waive its right to legal action against Texas A&M and let the Aggies go to the SEC peacefully.
• Reports out of Oklahoma indicated late last night that OU president David Boren told reporters that OU had decided against applying to the Pac-12 anyway and was poised for a return to the Big 12. While many are skeptical, it's entirely possible that, seeing the writing on the wall, Boren had decided that. Remember, the guy's a politician and if he would've been just a bit quicker with his announcement the news would've reflected more poorly on Larry Scott and the Pac-12 than OU. Instead, Scott beat him to the punch with the announcement. Smooth move.
• For those, who still care, here's a story from the Chicago Tribune about what Tuesday's news and this year's round of realignment means for Notre Dame. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-how-does-latest-realigment-news-affect-notre-dame-20110921,0,5790685.story
• Oklahoma State alum T. Boone Pickens continues to beat the drum for the idea of Texas A&M "sobering up" and returning to the Big 12. Not gonna happen. The Aggies are gone and, more importantly, the rest of the league is ready to let them go. Assuming they can settle things and redo the league's structure a little bit, finding a suitable replacement for A&M should not be that difficult. May not happen overnight, but will happen.
• You're wondering about Dan Beebe's spot in all this? Me too. Although nothing has been officially decided — in fact, talks have barely just begun — several Big 12 schools have informed Beebe that they want to see a change in leadership and sources have indicated to me that it looks like a change will be made. When? Who knows. But most likely sooner rather than later. In some ways, I wouldn't be surprised if Beebe stepped away on his own here. Being the leader of this conference has been nothing but a headache for the past two years. He's had his run, he'll be well compensated and, with his credentials, he'll be able to find another job in another conference rather easily. Won't be a commissioner, but, after all this, is that such a bad thing?
I'll stay on the news throughout the day and bring updates as they come. I'll also continue to work the phones to make sure that we're on top of the latest regarding the Big 12's future and what's next for Kansas.
Make no mistake, though... Last night was a huge night for KU, the Big 12 Conference and the thousands of us who are ready for this thing to end. I'll also keep posting various links to commentary and analysis through the eyes of the other schools, states and conferences who are involved in this thing.
Smile. But don't celebrate just yet.
As for those of you who are ready to turn your attention fully back to KU, the Kansas football team is on a bye this week so things should be pretty quiet there. But the KU basketball team will be waiting anxiously to see if Wichita prep star Perry Ellis will pick the Jayhawks at today's announcement.
Here's more on the Ellis situation. His announcement is supposed to come at 2:45 this afternoon. http://www2.kusports.com/news/2011/se...