Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades recently joined 365 Sports to discuss the recent events at Big 12 meetings last week in West Virginia.
Perhaps the most prevalent topic of conversation at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs was expansion, and particularly schools like Colorado, UConn, and Gonzaga.
It was reported by Berry Tramel earlier this week that there was pushback from Big 12 administrators when it came to adding non-Power Five programs that might boost the conference’s already solid basketball reputation.
“I don’t see any movement for a non-Power Five,” a Big 12 athletic director told Tramel. “I do not think there’s enough support to get them across the finish line.”
However, Rhoades says that those reports might not have been totally accurate.
“I would say that using the word resistance, or saying there is resistance to (adding UConn or Gonzaga), I would say that is stepping over the line, that is inaccurate,” Rhoades told 365 Sports. “We didn’t come out of the meetings with any definitive decisions of including or excluding any one particular institution. As the whole world knows, we did have a conversation but I would say that there was robust discussion about a lot of different institutions.
“I certainly didn’t walk away feeling like we had made any decision about excluding anyone.”
Rhoades did make sure to not sell Tramel down the river though, as the longtime reporter is known as a reputable and well-liked member of the Big 12 media circle.
“I’m not saying Berry Tramel misreported this at all, because I’ve got great respect for him,” Rhoades said. “But, I would say whatever he was told is a bit of a misrepresentation.”
With topics like expansion, which is a volatile and sensitive subject given the matter in which one conference gains what another loses, it’s not uncommon to have conflicting reports. That’s just a part of the process. However, if we take Rhoades at his word, the momentum for the Big 12 adding basketball-rich programs isn’t dead.