Big 12 Media Days are open for business! – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
The face of the Big 12 Conference’s next era took the podium for the first time on Wednesday and laid out his vision for the league’s future.
Although incoming Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark does not officially take over until Aug. 1, it became apparent just two days after his June 29 hiring that the changing landscape of college athletics will be an immediate challenge. He affirmed at Big 12 Media Days that he is excited to take on that opportunity.
“We are exploring all options, and we are open for business,” Yormark said. “And optionality is good, and we’re vetting through all of them.”
When Yormark took the job, the only conference realignment in motion was the forthcoming addition of BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to the Big 12 and its subsequent subtraction of Texas and Oklahoma. USC and UCLA’s jump from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten has set off a likely sweeping domino effect across the country as conferences scramble to add member schools to compete with the growing influence of the SEC and Big Ten.
Of course, the Big 12 is not immune from these rumors. Recent reports, although unconfirmed, say that the league has attempted to swipe as many as six schools from the Pac-12.
Yormark did confirm that there have been phone calls related to this topic. However, he did not disclose what was discussed in those calls.
“I think it‘s fair to say that I‘ve received a lot of phone calls, a lot of interest,” Yormark said. “People understand the direction of the Big 12 and we‘re exploring those levels of interest.”
He added that nothing is imminent and there is no definitive plan for immediate steps.
One of the driving forces in this issue will be the league’s “unified” chancellors and presidents at member schools. Yormark said that group attracted him to the position.
“So as we vet out the possibilities, everything will be additive, nothing will be dilutive, and I feel very confident that our conference is in the best position it has ever been in before,” Yormark said. “[Outgoing commissioner] Bob [Bowlsby] is leaving us in a great place.”