Baylor University has released a statement regarding the speculation around the future of the athletic program in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.
In a statement, Baylor President Linda Livingston and AD Mack Rhoades said in part, “For our state, it is critical to our economy and Texas’ overall reputation to maintain “Power Five” institutions, reinforcing the Lone Star State’s athletic preeminence. Rest assured, we, along with the Board of Regents, members of the Baylor delegation in the Texas legislature and other Baylor leaders, are actively engaged in conversations with our Big 12 colleagues and others to ensure our University is in the strongest position possible now and into the future.
In the midst of what promises to be a lot of angst and speculation, we will continue to focus on what we can control and support our student-athletes and staffs. And, as the landscape of college athletics continues to change, we maintain an unshakeable belief in the strength and resiliency of Baylor and the Baylor brand.”
There are reports that Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech have reached out to the Pac-12 about joining their conference, but there is no evidence that that partnership has any legs to it as of yet.
On Thursday night, the remaining eight Big 12 teams had a meeting and put up a united front, saying in part after the meeting that, “The eight members strongly desire to retain the current composition, which has proven it can compete at the highest levels.”
But with multiple reports circulating that the eight teams have also reached out to other Power 5 conferences about possibly joining, it’s unclear how much accuracy their is to that statement. Regardless, the Big 12 is on the brink, just like it was a decade ago. But salvaging it at this point will be even more difficult. Can it get done?