The presidents of the schools in the Big 12 have a crucial meeting this weekend in Dallas to discuss possible expansion. However according the sources telling Pete Thamel of SI.com, expansion seems unlikely.
While that’s not a definitive consensus, a new development with the league’s television partners has made not expanding the most likely scenario. Multiple sources indicated there have been discussions with the Big 12’s TV partners to pay the league not to expand. The purpose of the payment would be to eliminate the pro rata clause in the TV contract—which the TV officials consider a loophole—that enables the league to receive nearly $25 million annually for every school it adds. The willingness of ESPN and Fox to discuss paying to eliminate that clause and end future potential expansion drama in upcoming years makes not expanding the most likely conclusion.
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What does this do to effect schools in Florida? Well both UCF and USF were mentioned as possible additions to the Big 12 if it were to expand. Also Houston and SMU were part of discussions as so that would have had an impact in both the Knights and the Bulls conference. As it stand right now, the Big 12 will remain at ten teams and avoiding any numerical integrity for the time being. Obviously things could change this weekend. If the Big 12 has shown us anything over the past several years is that what they do isn’t predictable. Stay tuned.
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