Starr Addresses Baylor's Future in Big 12June 8, 2010
Baylor president Ken Starr addressed the media yesterday after a weekend of rumor and hearsay has presented several scenarios regarding the future of the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences. The Universities of Missouri and Nebraska have long openly considered a switch to the Big 10, prompting speculation over the past few months about how the Big 12 would fill those slots. But this weekend, long-rumored reports were leaked that the Pac 10 conference would extend invitations to six Big 12 schools. Reports differed between the New York Times and ESPN as to whether or not Baylor or Colorado was one of the schools invited.
The news prompted Baylor regents and alumni into action, with 15 Texas lawmakers, all Baylor grads, touting the need to keep the four Texas schools currently in the conference together. President Starr, who met with presidents, chancellors, and athletic directors in Kansas City this weekend, acknowledged the efforts by Baylor Nation while reiterating Baylor's hope for the current conference.
Much of the movement will hinge on Texas and Nebraska. An economic titan, the Longhorn athletic program has the pull to take its lone star state brethren with it to another conference, like the Pac-10. The economic impact of keeping these schools together, said Starr, cannot be overstated.
One Baylor study had that impact at over 155 million dollars per year. Eliminating games in Waco that would draw fans from Austin, College Station, or Lubbock would have a major impact on home game weekends. So while many keep their eyes on Texas, Starr and national reporters will be waiting for Nebraska's shoe to drop. A number of other schools' decisions may hinge on what Nebraska decides to do.
For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.