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Big 12 Conference

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Big 12 strong financially; teams split $348M in revenue

News and nuggets from around the Big 12

News and nuggets from around the Big 12


— The Big 12 Conference reported another year of record revenue Friday, with school officials saying it was proof of financial strength.

“No one is significantly stronger than we are in any of the power five conferences,” said David Boren, Oklahoma’s president and outgoing chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. “We can hold our own with any of them in regard to our financial picture.”

As the league’s spring meetings came to a close, Boren also said the 10 schools are strongly united.

Boren said the Sooners, despite the assertion of some outside the league, aren’t desperately seeking to find another conference. Nor is any other school.

“Emphatically not,” Boren said. “You can tell that from my own conversations. We’re more optimistic than we have been in some time about the future of the Big 12 and the strength and stability of the conference.”

The schools will split $348 million for the 2016-17 academic year. The $34.8 million per school is up by some $4.4 million from last year in the 11th consecutive year of increases. That per-team average has nearly quadrupled over the years; schools shared $106 million a decade ago, about $8.8 million per team.

About $6 million of Baylor’s portion for this year, and 25 percent of future revenues, will be held in an escrow account pending verification of changes at the school in the aftermath of a campus sexual assault scandal. Big 12 officials say the process is just starting to verify that the school is putting in place 105 recommendations for reforming its Title IX process.

League revenues are expected to increase again next year, when the resumption of the league’s football championship game could generate nearly $30 million.

Boren, the only one of the Big 12 presidents who has been in his position since the league’s inception two decades ago, said his goal is to eliminate the seemingly unending topic of league instability.

“This is ultimately not all about money. On the other hand, it’s like, do you want to work for a company that’s financially sound, or do you want to continue to work for a company that may collapse in the near future and you’ll have to be laid off?” he said. “The dramatic improvement as you go through the years. ... It’s not only healthy, it’s robust. So that’s a very strong talking point on behalf of the conference.”

The revenue numbers — from the league’s deals and money from the College Football Playoff, bowl games and NCAA Tournament games — don’t include third-tier broadcast rights such as the average $15 million a year Texas gets from ESPN for the Longhorn Network or about $7 million Oklahoma makes from its own network.

Linda Livingstone, Baylor’s new president in her first days on the job, helped provide the board an update on how the school is progressing with the implementation of changes since the scandal that led to the departures last year of the school’s former president, athletic director and two-time Big 12 champion football coach Art Briles.

“She gave us a long presentation, she entertained questions and she was very forthcoming,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “We’re all very impressed with her.”

The league has hired attorney Janet Judge to do the third-party verification of Baylor’s changes, a process that started only within the past couple of weeks and is expected to be a lengthy one. Judge also provided the board with an update.

Baylor is in the process of completing its own internal audit, and has commissioned an external audit as well.

The world’s largest Baptist university faces at least six federal and state lawsuits as well as a federal civil rights investigation into claims the school and football program ignored, mishandled or tried to cover up reports of sexual or physical abuse and other criminal misdeeds across campus for years.

Boren ended his term as the Big 12 board chairman that included the league last year considering expansion before deciding to remain at 10 members, and the restoration of the championship football game.

Gordon Gee, the president of West Virginia, was selected as the board’s new chairman.


Brett McCabe 5 years, 3 months ago

It's all good until it isn't. KU football needs to continue to progress and pull its weight in the revenue department. The scramble will begin 3 years prior to the end of the GOR, if not earlier. The Big 12 is on the clock.

Robert Brock 5 years, 3 months ago

One look at Memorial Stadium tells potential recruits that KU is a ne'er do well.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 3 months ago

I wish that Zenger would have built a brand new football stadium on that bare property along Bob Billings Parkway between Iowa Street and Kasold Drive, and left Memorial Stadium to the track team, the only team that's ever had long-term success in Memorial Stadium. That would have been a better investment than building Rock Chalk Park.

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 3 months ago

Rock Chalk Park is a state of the art facility that needed to be built. I for one think that the old Memorial Stadium should be bulldozed to the ground. In it's place, build a new, state of the art football stadium. It's the best location.

Tim Orel 5 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to see some of the current stadium retained, if possible, or at least design some of the exterior to match what exists. In that way, it could still retain a claim to being the seventh oldest in the country, which I think is important (it dates back to Phog Allen coaching the team with his drive to make this stadium leading to its opening the following year).

Joe Ross 5 years, 3 months ago

Rock Chalk Park certainly needed to be built and is a benefit to the athletics department and the teams that play there.

Joe Ross 5 years, 3 months ago

Tear it down. Start from scratch. Easy to say when it's other peoples' money, but I agree. A fresh face will help to shed the dismal history of the program.

John Brazelton 5 years, 3 months ago

New student housing for all KU athletes when built, including football players, will help recruiting. Since home KU football games only average 27,000 attendees, there's no sense to greatly improve the football stadium until we can get 53,000 first. We're never going to fill a 100,000 plus stadium like Texas or Oklahoma, so why waste the money?

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 3 months ago

I disagree. It's clear that remodeled locker rooms and other facilities have appealed to high ranking recruits. I believe a new, state of the art stadium would attract both fans and recruits. Success should follow.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 3 months ago

My small suggestion for helping transform the football program is to ditch the current helmet logo and go with a combination of the Seattle Seahawk logo and the 1941 WWII Jayhawk Logo Head. It's a small detail but it would still show a fierceness not expressed by the current Jayhawk.

In my opinion, anything that would instill a degree of toughness in our team, no matter how small, is worth consideration and a Jayhawk that looks like a bird of prey seems more appropriate on the football field than a Jayhawk that looks like a plush toy.

P.S. When you are retired, you can waste unlimited amounts of time on the absolute smallest of minutia and not feel one ounce of guilt!! :)

Bryce Landon 5 years, 3 months ago

That might not be a bad idea. It helped instill a new attitude at Iowa when Hayden Fry introduced the Tigerhawk logo for the Hawkeyes, and it helped at Kansas State when Bill Snyder, who once worked for Fry, introduced the Powercat logo for the Wildcats. I like your thinking, Tony!

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 3 months ago

The current Jayhawk logo didn't stop Glen Mason and Mark Mangino teams from having success. I don't think it really matters that much.

Joe Ross 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree. I wouldnt want to copy the Seahawks, but the current logo could surely be redesigned to portray something more...menacing?

Robert Brown 5 years, 3 months ago

I guess this is an AP article. I would be interested in knowing what KU's Tier 3 revenue is.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 3 months ago

How about improving the team. Defense wins more than Offense. We've needed a first class DC about 7 years! No hope with Zenger extended and no help at the HC.

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