AUSTIN, Texas (Sports Network) - University of Texas officials said Tuesday the decision to remain a member of the Big 12 Conference was always the school's top goal, despite growing speculation that a move to the Pac-10 was almost a done deal.
"Our priority all along has been the continuance of the Big 12 Conference. We
have worked diligently with other league members and conference staff to
assess the strength and future viability of our institutions," said Texas
men's athletic director DeLoss Dodds in a statement Tuesday. "The Big 12 has
served its members well. We move forward with the commitment and confidence of
10 Big 12 universities to ensure the very best academic and athletics
opportunities for the student-athletes we support."
Texas was among the four Big 12 schools courted by the Pac-10, which began its
plan to expand last week with the addition of Colorado. Texas Tech, Oklahoma
and Oklahoma State were the others on the Pac-10's radar. Texas A&M,
meanwhile, was considering a move to the Southeastern Conference.
In addition to Colorado's defection, Nebraska decided to depart for the Big
Ten last week, leaving the Big 12 with just 10 schools.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe made one last pitch to save the conference and
came up with a plan that will increase each school's revenue through a new
television package. The schools then met Monday to consider the future of the
"Instability is not good for any conference," said school president William
Powers Jr. at a Tuesday news conference. "And Texas led the way at the Big 12
meeting, saying we need to keep the Big 12 together and end this instability."
Reports indicate that Texas will stand to make the most money in the new deal
and the school will also be able to start its own television network.
"We have assurances that we may continue working toward our goal of
establishing a UT television network-channel that would provide additional
exposure for our institution, seeded greatly with programming associated with
our 20 men's and women's sports programs," stated women's athletic director
The new 10-team league will not be able to stage a football championship game,
as only conferences with at least 12 teams are permitted to do so under NCAA